Reuters reports this morning that Twitter has started to track user third party apps. The social network will begin tracking the third party apps that users have installed on phones, so that Twitter can better personalize user content. Twitter’s new feature is called “app graph,” and it allows the company to see what other apps are installed on a user’s phone and other devices.
Twitter has told press that the company will not collect specific user details that are stored in third party apps, but the company will see what apps are installed and other basic details. Company spokespeople also told press today that app graph has been invented in order to give users a better overall Twitter experience. For obvious reasons, though, some people aren’t so crazy about the idea of Twitter grabbing third party app details.
Even though Twitter has stated that the company will not access information like payment details, names, or addresses, some are still not happy with the overall thought that Twitter can now see what apps are used by Twitter users. Twitter has been trying to improve user experience for some time now, and this is simply another step in that direction.
More Twitter Apps Coming
Additionally, Twitter is working on developing new apps, so figuring out what Twitter users like to download on a regular basis will help the company determine what apps users are more likely to want and to use. Twitter has to find some way to generate more revenue, and developing apps that people will like to use has its merits.
Of course, the drawback here is that Twitter will still be collecting some user information, even though that information might not be of the credit card and name sort. By simply peeking at what you have on any device, Twitter can determine what other Twitter apps you might like. There are mixed feelings over Twitter’s decision to go this route, but the company has also provided details on how to turn App Graph off, if you don’t want your information (in any sense) to be collected and used.
The other reason that Twitter wants to know what apps you use is to personalize ads that can be directly targeted to you. Twitter already targets ads to users, but this social network isn’t comparable to, say, Facebook when it comes to user information and details. So, while Facebook can directly target users with advertisements based on user likes and information, Twitter can’t do this as accurately.
As soon as Twitter collects third party app details, the company will be better poised to target ads to users, and that will provide additional revenue as well. As soon as advertisers learn that ads can be directly targeted, Twitter will see more advertisers.
So, you may want to turn off App Graph if you don’t want to see targeted ads - or, if you simply don’t like the idea of Twitter collecting and using your information, no matter how harmless it all may seem. Do you hate this idea, or does it not bother you that Twitter will know what other apps you use?