There’s money in smileys: emoji-based ad-targeting comes to Twitter


For users, Twitter’s just getting stranger and stranger. It’s latest move however will probably be loved by advertisers.

The company has announced that it will now allow advertisers to target advertising at individuals based on the emoji they’ve used.

It’s a move that follows its continued struggle for revenue, and also takes advantage of the sudden surge in emoji popularity on its platform. In its personal blog, Twitter suggests that over 110-billion emojis have been used on its network since 2014.

In a recent post, Gartner suggests that marketers need to embrace the rise of emojis as a richer story-telling medium, and perhaps that’s exactly what Twitter is doing here.

“Emojis have become a ubiquitous way for people, publishers, and brands to express their feelings,” Twitter adds.

“Now, advertisers can target people who have recently Tweeted or engaged with Tweets featuring emojis with the help of select Twitter Official Partners: AdParlor, Amobee, HYFN, Perion, SocialCode, and 4C.”

But how does this all work? And how on earth can a smiley face benefit a brand’s ad campaigns? Twitter suggests that the use of emojis can help brands identify or signal “a person’s mood or mindset,” allowing for better situational targeting.

Twitter also claims that brands can now “connect with people based on their expressed sentiment,” or go beyond that, and target people “who Tweet food emojis” or “reach people based on their passions.”

We’re not so sure. If anything, I find it all a bit *fearful face*.

Andy Walker, former editor


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