Twitter is ramping up its monetisation efforts, and testing more tailored ads in the US.

It promised users won’t see more ads, they will just get “better ones” and Twitter has received praise for adding a number of privacy safeguards, including support for the Do Not Track feature. That feature asks web companies, like Twitter, not to install browser cookies on the user’s machine or use cookie information from third-party sites.

Twitter praised for privacy

Twitter will also let users opt out of tailored advertising by simply clicking on a button in their account settings.

Companies taking part will share a hash of users’ email addresses or their browser cookie IDs. Twitter will then match that information to accounts to show them a Promoted Tweet related to the company.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) praised Twitter for its implementation of tailored ads. “We think Twitter is setting an important example for the Internet: It is possible to exist in an ecosystem of tailored advertisements and online tracking while also giving users an easy and meaningful opt-out choice,” the firm wrote in a blog post.

“This is in stark contrast to many other advertising and tracking firms, who continue to argue that ‘do not track” should mean ‘pretend not to track’.”

“More and more online companies – many of which already have millions of active users – are turning to third parties to manage their advertising schemes.

“We believe they should follow Twitter’s lead in empowering their users and respecting their use of the Do Not Track setting.”

Twitter has also announced some changes on the developer side. It now requires developers to disclose privacy policies before people download, install or sign up for a service using the Twitter API.

“We have also clarified some restrictions: hosting datasets of raw Tweets for download is prohibited, and automated following or bulk following is also prohibited,” the company announced on its developer blog.

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Thomas Brewster

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

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