The Twitter app on your smartphone will now keep an eye on all other apps you are using and will install later on your device. Known as the “app graph”, the new app proposed by Twitter is being seen as a huge invasion of privacy by most. Collecting this data will later help the networking site tailor reposition their ads and suit user preferences in a better manner, assured the site owners. The data thus collected will not be used by them within the installed apps, they added categorically.
“To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in,” Twitter wrote.
Twitter, which is hugely dependent on targeted ads for its revenue, feels that serving personalized ads by analyzing the tweets of its users and monitoring the other apps they are using will help them push up their profits. It also hopes to improve upon user engagement with this move.
According to media reports, Twitter said Wednesday that users will receive a notification when the setting is turned on and can opt out using the settings menu on their phones. On iPhones, this setting is called ‘limit ad tracking’. On Android phones, it’s ‘opt out of interest-based ads’.
To allay any fears about invasion of privacy, Twitter listed some examples of how it intends to use the app graph to enrich user experience on the networking site. The examples include, “improving suggestions to users on who to follow based on similar interests, adding content to the timelines of users such as tweets and accounts that could prove to be interesting to the user, and showing the user promoted content that are more relevant.”
After the app graph has been activated on an account, the users will see a prompt saying, “To help tailor your experience, Twitter uses the apps on your device.” Till the time twitter users do not see this prompt, it should be taken to mean that the feature has not been activated on their accounts.