Has your Twitter feed seemed a little different lately? If you’re seeing strange things, don’t worry, you’re not crazy! After several months of testing, Twitter has decided to let advertisers target its users via the use of cookies.

Twitter users have been in control of who they follow (and even who follows them, depending on privacy settings) since launching in 2006. Since 2010, users have been shown Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends, and Promoted Accounts throughout their timelines, which are all forms of paid advertising on the social media platform. These promoted forms of media (whether it be Tweet, Trend, or Account) are only to be shown to the user if it is deemed highly interesting/relevant to the individual.

Twitter Announces Tailored Audiences

Users will now be served ads via Twitter’s “Tailored Audiences”. These audiences will give social media advertisers the ability to better target different groups with customized messaging. Audiences may be made up of preexisting customers, as well as potential new ones, and the advertiser is now able to serve the most relevant message to each audience.

Some of our readers may think this sounds familiar….almost too familiar. Similar to seeing the same or similar ads on very different websites wherever you go online. Don’t ignore your inner AdWords geek because you are indeed correct! Tailored Audiences is Twitter’s version of remarketing.

If you visit and/or engage with a brand’s website, the brand can then share browser-related information (aka your cookie ID) with an ads partner, which will then be matched to your Twitter account, and will then show you a Promoted Tweet. The ads partner will have full access to whether or not the targeted users decided to engage with the Promoted Tweet (or not). These Tweets will be no more invasive than the current promotions we see on a daily basis. Instead, they will (arguably) be more targeted than the ads we were viewing.

Twitter Tailored Audiences Possible Scenario

For the sake of illustration, let’s pretend that we have visited a retail store, such as L.L. Bean, to look for some holiday gift ideas. After spending a significant amount of time on the site, browsing several items, and showing that we are genuinely interested, we exit the page. Because we are so engaged, the ads partner tells Twitter that we should be targeted in their “Potential Xmas Buyer” audience. Once that decision is made, we will then see a relevant, Promoted Tweet from @LLBean, describing a great holiday shopping deal. Engagement (or not) with the Promoted Tweet will be recorded and reported by the ads manager.

Early reports say that the Tailored Audience feature, which was used in beta over the summer, produced a lift in engagement rates of 45% higher than historical averages. What do you think?  Does remarketing make sense on Twitter?