Twitter users averse to targeted ads may start smashing the angry face emoji when they learn about the platform’s latest tool to attract marketers. The social media giant has announced that it is launching emoji keyword targeting for Twitter ads. What that fundamentally means is that the next time you tweet out an emoji, it could be used by brands to target you with specific products.
Remember the days when the simple act of sharing a tweet with a pizza emoji (and maybe several smileys) didn’t entail a Pizza Hut or Domino’s ad appearing on your timeline? Well, those days are over.
It’s not just food emojis that will be targeted either. A soccer ball icon to mark the kickoff of a Euro 2016 match you’re excited about could lead to an advert from a sports brand. The same goes for the basketball emoji, which is likely to pop up in tweets all the time during the NBA Finals. Even the most popular little yellow icon of them all, the tears of joy smiley (voted word of the year by the Oxford Dictionary in 2015), could be used to sell you a box of tissues.
As Twitter states in the blog post announcing the feature, “over 110 billion emojis have been tweeted since 2014.” Meaning — from a marketing perspective — the possibilities are truly endless.
Advertisers who are interested in the new targeting options will work with Twitter’s official Ads API (application programming interface) partners, who include AdParlor, Amobee, HYFN, Perion, SocialCode, and 4C.
“Just in time for World Emoji Day on July 17, we’re excited to announce the availability of emoji keyword targeting for Twitter Ads,” states Twitter product manager, Neil Shah. “Emojis have become a ubiquitous way for people, publishers, and brands to express their feelings … This new feature uses emoji activity as a signal of a person’s mood or mindset — unlocking unique opportunities for marketers.”
Brands have already shown a huge interest in emoji on Twitter. During Super Bowl 50, some corporations were reportedly shelling out up to a million dollars for a personalized icon to coincide with their Twitter campaigns. It seems that Twitter now wants to use your emojis to rake in even more of those lucrative ad dollars.