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In an effort to gather as much information about its users’ habits for more relevant advertising, Twitter will soon identify the other apps on your phone. The company released an announcement on its website and this is said to begin with the new version of its iPhone app which rolled out yesterday. A new Android version will roll out sometime next week.
Twitter says it will alert users of its new data policy via an in -pp notification before it starts collecting any personal information. It also stresses that it is only collecting the list of applications users have installed and not collecting any data within the applications. The update is opt-out, meaning Twitter will begin collecting this information from users automatically unless users explicitly tell it otherwise. We imagine few, oblivious to the new agreement, users are likely to do so.
“To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in,” the company noted.
This move by Twitter harks from company’s targeted advertising revenue strategy. In addition to the information it has from user profiles, tweets, retweets and favourites, Twitter wants to further dig everything it can on its users.
Read more: Twitter now lets you share tweets via DM
The update might anger some Twitter users but there is nothing new about this move. Facebook and Google already collect information on users so that their targeted ads are a lot more precise. And these two in fact demand much more information on its profiles across a range of services and apps.
Both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems already allow third parties to gather this type of data. Developers on iOS can ping a user’s device at any time they please and recall a list of apps that are currently running on their smartphones.
The move will also help Twitter improve the content recommendations for its users. A few months ago Twitter began showing tweets to users from people they did not follow, using an algorithm to identify tweets its new users may like. Twitter also already recommends people for users to follow based on who else is in a user’s network.
Knowing which apps users download will help Twitter on its other future plans. The company revealed earlier this month that an “instant timeline” product is in the works, that could assist new users in automatically following relevant people. This will likely aim to address the blank timeline after users sign up.