Twitter, the immensely popular micro-blogging platform, has apparently started collecting data on the apps that the users are downloading and installing on their mobile devices. No, this is not a hoax or another viral rumour. This information has been confirmed by Twitter.
Twitter is Tracking Your Mobile Apps
Why is Twitter Snooping Around?
Like other social networking platforms, Twitter understands the need for increasing targeted ads in the newsfeed. This is the reason behind its latest venture into the privacy of its users for accessing information on the apps installed on the mobile device. Sources from the company revealed that Twitter’s mobile app would track the applications that a user installs on his smartphone or tablet.
By accessing the list of apps on the mobile device, the company aims to improve the relevance of the ads that are provided in the newsfeed. This would also affect the content that appear in your tweet stream. Twitter has named this feature as “App Graph” and is “seemingly harmless” as it does not protrude into the privacy of the users.
This is not the first time that Twitter has made an attempt to enhance its user experience. By personalizing the timelines of users with better and relevant content, the company wishes to reach out the numerous passive users (those who rarely tweet or do not sign-in often) for converting them into active users.
The main challenge is to provide a friendly user experience for those who sign up for the first time. Twitter is currently involved in various tests that make its services more usable, even at the time of the first login. A good example of this is the “Instant Timeline” feature which fills the timeline of first time users with useful and relevant information even if they have not added anyone in their network.
Should Users Be Wary of Twitter’s App Graph?
Twitter has specifically expressed that it is only using the information pertaining to the list of apps and no data from within the apps is being used. So there is no reason for users to worry about the new “App Graph” feature. The data would be strictly used for business purposes, specifically for increasing targeted ads and optimizing content as per users’ preferences.
But not every user would be completely convinced about the extent of infringement that the app would be responsible for. It is possible that the app’s feature could be manipulated by hackers to gain access to the information contained within the apps installed on the device. This is exactly what is being feared by users. Let’s hope that this new feature doesn’t turn out to be a mistake on the company’s part.
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