Twitter's latest update tells me I like antiperspirants and feminine care
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Twitter’s latest update tells me I like antiperspirants and feminine care


Image: bloomberg via getty images

Twitter just released an update that lets you know who is selling to you and why — and gives you the power to stop it. 

The update, not unlike Facebook’s own, much-more-detailed audience insights, lists your interests and what advertising partners think your interests are, Twitter wrote in a blog post Wednesday. 

“Today, we’re announcing a suite of industry-leading tools to give you more access to your information and greater, more granular control over how it’s used,” Twitter wrote. 

It’s a lot to digest. 

According to my Twitter profile and activity on the site, I am interested in business news and general info, beginning investment, financial news, investing, and mutual funds. It’s almost like they know I am a business reporter. I’m known for “Tech News,” almost like they know I report on the business of tech.

But things get a little more interesting when we look at what Twitter’s partners know about me. I have 218 interests, according to Twitter’s partners. Not sure if these are listed in any particular order, but I apparently am interested in a lot of CPG (consumer packaged goods) categories starting with antiperspirants and deodorants as well as feminine care, shaving care and hair removal, skin care, and oral care.

Brands that have me listed include Swiffer, Tide, Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen-Dazs, Aveeno, and Dove. Given how much I tweet about Red Bull and Dunkin’ Donuts, I’m a little bit confused on where they’re getting this data from, but okay. 

Image: twitter screenshots/kerry flynn

Twitter is now empowering users, like myself, to de-select interests that may not actually be true or maybe ones that I just don’t want to be advertised for.

I also requested my advertiser list via email, which took only about 30 minutes to send over to me. I am listed on 18,631 audiences from 3,944 advertisers, according to Twitter’s new “tailored audiences” section. 

So the list is might long but a quick scan reveals I am desired by @23andme, @aarp, @buzzfeed, @realdonaldtrump, @gopro, and @zurichnanews. 

The update is rolling out slowly. Check if you have it by going, on mobile, to Settings and privacy > Account > Your Twitter data. 

Twitter wants to ensure that user privacy is still at the forefront of its hive mind and its mission. Indeed, it had to update its privacy policy with this change, and the final paragraph of the blog post pushes that message.

“Privacy is built into our DNA as a company and it’s something we take an active role in promoting and advocating for across the world,” Twitter wrote. “This commitment will continue as we build our industry leadership on this issue.”

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May 17, 2017
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