Twitter is Introducing Emoji-Based Ad Targeting

Whether us older folks like it or not, emojis are here to stay. Apple is making them bigger in iOS 10. Emojis dominate Snapchat and Facebook Messenger conversations. And, according to Twitter, 110 billion emojis have been tweeted since 2014.

With this in mind, Twitter emoji targeting is coming to ad campaigns on the social network. Enabling brands to target consumers based on emoji use opens up potential opportunities to reach people based on mindset or current mood. Restaurants, such as Dominos (who already offers ordering via emojis) also may benefit from emoji-based targeting options.

The catch: Twitter emoji targeting is going to be limited at first. Like Twitter’s Pre-Roll product, which was just recently expanded to API partners, emoji targeting is only being made available to select ad partners. Twitter partners such as AdParlor, SocialCode, 4C, and Amobee all have early access to emoji-based ad targeting.

Clearly, there’s potential drawbacks from targeting via emoji use—namely, the lack of a “standard” for how or when they are applied. That said, any online targeting carries with it some inherent risk. Behavioral targeting, or utilizing third-party data, isn’t 100% accurate, either—there are no guarantees in what can be ascertained by online browsing behavior. There’s no reason to believe that targeting via emojis would be any less relevant for advertisers.

If early brands see success, expect Twitter to roll-out emoji-based targeting to its self-serve platform in the future. Twitter emoji targeting is available now.