Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) is relaxing its rules when it comes to sharing data with advertisers in an effort to demonstrate the effectiveness of running ads on its platform.
In a blog post this week, the tech company said it removed a feature from its mobile app that enabled users to stop sharing some information about themselves with marketers. That feature let users control what information was sent to Twitter's business partners, including the ads users viewed and interacted with and their mobile phone's identifiers. Now there is no way to disable that sharing.
"Twitter shares certain non-public personal information with advertisers who run mobile application advertising campaigns through Twitter," wrote the microblogging website operator. "This information can include which ads a particular browser or device saw, watched, or otherwise interacted with; but does not include your name, email, phone number, or Twitter username. For example, Twitter might share that a mobile device identifier viewed or clicked on an ad for a particular mobile application."
Twitter said the change was needed to prove to advertisers that users are seeing and interacting with ads on the platform, which helps it to continue to operate as a free service. Twitter noted ad data won't be shared with advertisers in the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, and the U.K. To share data with advertisers, users in those regions have to opt-in.
The move comes on the heels of a big earnings miss in the third quarter in which problems with Twitter's mobile application promotion product prevented Twitter from targeting ads and sharing data with advertisers. That problem was fixed in the fourth quarter, with Twitter reporting a 12% increase in advertising revenue year-over-year.