Last month, there was speculation that Twitter was going to offer retargeting for advertisers. Last week, Twitter announced the retargeting option. Twitter said it is currently "experimenting" with the feature, which will be available to U.S. users.
Twitter explained the benefits to users and advertisers:
"Let's say a local florist wants to advertise a Valentine's Day special on Twitter. They'd prefer to show their ad to flower enthusiasts who frequent their website or subscribe to their newsletter. To get the special offer to those people who are also on Twitter, the shop may share with us a scrambled, unreadable email address (a hash) or browser-related information (a browser cookie ID). We can then match that information to accounts in order to show them a Promoted Tweet with the Valentine's Day deal."
While this might be a nice option for both parties, TechCrunch pointed out a potential pitfall:
"Twitter can't vouch for how the advertiser picked your name up in the first place. I may have ended up on a flower shop's mailing list having never actually bought flowers there before. Or I may have thought of buying flowers but decided against it at the last minute. In that case, the last thing I would want to see is that same flower offer coming through to me. Again and again."
Of course, if users wish not to be a part of this program, there is a way to opt out: Uncheck the "promoted content" option in Twitter's account settings. Twitter said "this is the only placeyou'll need to disable this feature on Twitter."
Twitter also confirmed advertisers don't get any additional information about Twitter users if they are opted in to retargeting.