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Twitter Flips Switch Back on Block Functionality - Turns on Broad Match Targeting

  |  December 13, 2013   |  Comments

Twitter backtracked on its decision to change its block functionality, pressured by concerned users. The social network is also refining its ad targeting arsenal by allowing broad match targeting.

Twitter has been busy this holiday season launching broad match for keyword targeting, as well as reversing a controversial change to its block function.

Just yesterday, the social network made a change to its block functionality, only to revert it back less than a day later, as users protested the move.

Pretend it Doesn't Exist

The change yesterday enabled users to block other users without the latter knowing it. Meaning, that the blocked account would still be sending messages to the intended recipient. The intended recipient, however, would no longer see the messages, leading most likely, to an even worse relationship or interaction when one end thinks they are getting the silent treatment. This was the concern voiced by users who contested the change and won.

Bring Back Transparency

Twitter reverted the functionality to make the process more transparent and safer for the blocking end. Now, blocked users can see again that they have been blocked and cannot send anything to the blocking recipient.

This is what it looks like when you block someone (my editor!).

twitter-block

 

 

And this is what it looks like when you have been blocked by a user (myself).

twitter-blocked

 

Brands Talking in a Void

The implications of the attempted move by Twitter would have had an impact on brands. The changed functionality, had it remained as yesterday, would have had them talk in a void if followers had blocked them. For Twitter, it would have meant a way out of measuring campaign effectiveness too, with outgoing messages not even being received.

Transparency is a win for everyone. Or...?   

Broad Match Targeting

In a further move, matching the targeting capability of Google, who pioneered it, Twitter has finally launched its broad match keyword targeting. 

Brands and advertisers who are used to the broad match approach on other platforms are finally able to replicate the filtering via the company's API too, Twitter said in a blog post

The principle: it'll track and target the tweets that contain the words you choose, or variations of it. Adding a + sign before keywords, like on Google, will prevent from getting mismatches.

Example:

twitter-broad-match

By default, all existing campaigns are being flipped to broad match and the new ones will have it by default too, Twitter said.

Just a reminder: Twitter users are still able to dismiss ads that they do not see as interesting or adding value to their streams. The opt out is bigger than on any other platform. So the broad match will help but... only to a certain extent.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Liva Judic

Liva Judic joined Search Engine Watch and ClickZ in May 2010 as a news blogger. She has lived and worked across the globe in Madagascar, Switzerland, London, NYC, Asia and is now based in between New York and Berlin.

Her background is in government relations and financial media where she started out as a journalist at Bloomberg and became senior editor at AFX news (now part of ThomsonReuters). Prior to forming her own consultancy Judic was head of international PR for a head of state.

Judic focuses on facilitating brand and marketing transitioning for European startups moving to the US. She has been named one of the Top 50 Industry Influencers of 2014 by AGBeat 

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