Platformer: Twitter Considering Making Personalized Ads and Location Sharing Mandatory

Zoë Schiffer and Casey Newton, reporting for Platformer:

And it’s not just personalized ads that Twitter plans to require. The company is also considering forcing users to share their location, let Twitter share their data with its business partners, and use contact data phone numbers used in two-factor authentication for ad targeting purposes. (In May, Twitter paid a $150 million fine for doing this without obtaining users consent.)

Personalized ads have become increasingly important to social networks since the launch last year of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature. [...] ATT represented a significant blow to Twitter’s business as well: less than 35 percent of users opted in, multiple sources said. About 23 percent of users opted out of sharing their location data as well.

Twitter’s solution: require users to opt in to personalized ads and share their location information, or risk losing access to the service. The company is developing plans to prompt existing users to opt in to personalized ads and will make it the default for new users, according to plans shared with Platformer.

This sounds awful, of course. But it’s so awful that it’s hard to see how it could be successful. And it doesn’t make a ton of sense: if only 23 percent of users opted out of location sharing, why bother trying to force them to? But, as we’ve seen, “doesn’t make a ton of sense” doesn’t mean Twitter isn’t going to try it under Elon Musk.

Wednesday, 14 December 2022