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Twitter is putting all of your tweets up for sale

Twitter wants to expand its data-based revenue stream by selling trillions of tweets to commercial interests.

Speaking to The Guardian, Twitter’s Data Strategy Chief Chris Moody detailed how one day, companies will be able to react to consumer tweets in new and unusual ways.

One example is provided: you’re travelling via plane to see your newborn grandson. As you enter the aircraft, you’re greeted by name by the cabin crew and congratulated about the new family member. You then find a gift-wrapped blue rattle on your seat.

This somewhat creepy reality would be achieved by offering up Twitter information to the airline company, seemingly in an effort to improve its customer service.

It’s nothing particularly new; there are already huge numbers of computer systems dedicated to sifting through the data goldmine that is Twitter as we speak.

Moody also suggested that when Apple unveils its next iPhone later this year, Samsung could aggregate data to help find customers who are thinking of leaving Apple.

“You bring your data to us and we will ensure that your customers, if they exist on Twitter – we can provide advertisements to them,” explains Moody. “It’s done in a completely anonymised fashion, so we are not sharing private information.”

Moody wants to increase the scale and depth of data aggregation however, in an effort to upscale the worth of Twitter’s data commercially.

Twitter currently boasts 288 million monthly active users, marking it as one of the most valuable social networks on the planet.

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Moody also described how non-commercial interests might capitalise on the social data provided by Twitter.

An example of this would be police using aggregated data, based on location, to gauge the mood in a football crowd.

Data sales currently amounts to around $70 million in revenue for Twitter; that’s a drop in the water compared to the company’s $1.3 billion in yearly revenue.

Twitter gives this fascinating ability to understand people in context like we’ve never been able to do before,” explained Moody. “It’s not ‘I know that Chris Moody is a 48-year-old male’ – which is how we’ve thought about marketing in the past – but ‘I understand that Chris Moody is dealing with the death of a parent because he’s talking about it on this public platform’.”

He added: “I’ve stepped up to the microphone and I’ve said I want the world to know that this thing is happening in my life.”

It’s worth noting that while Twitter does scan all aspects of your public profile, you do retain some semblance of privacy. The company does not currently aggregate data from direct messages, which are hidden to everyone except the sender and the recipient.

It’s also important to remember that Twitter’s own privacy policy states the following: “What you say on Twitter may be viewed all around the world instantly.”

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