Twitter is working on a new option that would enable users to opt out of ads in certain sensitive categories, in order to better customize the promotions that you see in the app.
As you can see in this image, posted by app researcher Nima Owji, Twitter’s looking to add a new section to its ‘Ads Preferences’ which would enable users to opt out of ads in certain categories. ‘Gambling’ is the only option available at this stage, but it’ll likely eventually be expanded to include alcohol, guns, etc.
Note too that this doesn’t mean that you won’t see any of these ads at all in the app. The wording in this example states that you can ‘choose to see fewer ads about these categories by opting out’.
So Twitter might still show you some ads, even if you’ve directly indicated that you’re not interested. But I guess, when you’ve lost 70% of your top spending advertisers, you need to keep your options a little open in this respect.
Meta has offered similar since 2020, via its Ad Preferences tool, which enables users to opt out of ads related to alcohol, parenting, pets, as well as social issues, elections or politics.
Though similarly, Meta doesn’t let you switch them off entirely, noting that:
“If you choose to see less of an ad topic, you won’t get as many ads about that topic, and advertisers can’t target you based on an interest in it. You may still see some ads related to these topics even if you chose to see less of them.”
I guess, that’s mostly a cover-all in case their ad targeting systems don’t filter out all of the respective ads completely, so people can’t complain if they still see a couple of promotions despite noting their objection to such.
Twitter’s following the same blueprint, which should, at least in theory, help to improve its ad targeting, and help ensure that Twitter advertisers reach interested users, by providing more parameters around how, and to who, its ads are displayed.
It’s a good option, which provides users with more control, while also, you would assume, having a beneficial impact on ad performance.
If Twitter users even action such. Most people never bother to update their settings, no matter what options are available, which makes tools like these a goodwill bet, in showing that the platforms are looking to cater to user needs, while also not being at major risk of losing out as a result.
In any event, it does seem like a good move for Twitter. No word as yet on a possible live roll-out of the new Ads Categories display.