If you give Twitter this extra information, you have control over whether it’s public knowledge or not. Twitter’s latest update adopts one of Facebook’s most useful features. (How else would you remember your friends’s birthdays?) Add your birth date to your Twitter profile, and the social network will bombard your page with animated balloons on your special day.
That’s right, from today, 6 July, Twitter users can now add their birthday to their Twitter profile page, making it easier to celebrate your all-important birthday with friends and followers. The micro-blogging site has introduced an option to set your date of birth in its settings menu that will appear on your profile page. “Starting today (July 6), you will be able to show your birthday on your Twitter profile,” a Twitter blog post read. Twitter tested the new feature on comedian Kevin Hart’s profile on Monday, in honor of his 36th: Twitter’s real endgame in getting this new intel is, of course, to better target ads. (The Help Center page on profile visibility specifically notes that Twitter “will use your birthday to show you more relevant content, including ads.”) The company has thus far found it difficult to collect extensive demographic data on its users, due largely to the fact that it doesn’t employ Facebook’s stringent—and controversial—policy of requiring people to use their legal identity. Last week, Twitter brought in audience insights for brands that let them choose which users they want to aim their adverts at: students, professionals, etc. Users can also choose who they share their birthday information with: just mutual followers, everyone or or just people you follow or are followed by
So the beauty of Twitter—that users can create parody accounts and use whatever names they please—actually works against the interests of its advertisers. Your birth date will be a completely optional part of your profile and you will have full control over who can see it. “The visibility setting for your birth year is separate from the setting for your birth month and day, giving you the flexibility to share as much (or as little) as you want,” the post continued. When Twitter launched in March 2006, the only data it required users to submit upon opening an account was name, username, and an email or phone number. The birthday feature, coupled with the introduction of a new mobile campaign manager, could make Twitter more attractive to advertisers who want to home in on a specific audience.
The company is currently headed by co-founder Jack Dorsey while it searches for a replacement who will, presumably, prioritise making money for the company’s shareholders. As a result, Twitter last week introduced a new “audience insights” feature that allows companies to choose groups of users to target with their ads. If you do decide to give the site your birthday, you can select whether the information is public, open to your followers or simply for your eyes only. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles.