Twitter politics

Just in time for the Presidential election, Twitter launches state-specific targeting

Now here’s some interesting timing from Twitter. Just as Apple announces the iPhone 5 and right in time for the US Presidential election, Twitter has announced updates to its advertising platform that gives companies more accurate, including state-specific, geo-targeting options.

In a post on their advertising blog today Twitter said that advertisers will be able to target users’ right down to individual cities and metropolitan areas in the UK, and Japan.

Companies can now also target Twitter users in individual US states.

Announcing the new options for advertisers Twitter says that the new system will be able to help political campaigns send targeted tweets to users in individual states.

“retailers can use Promoted Tweets to promote distinct offers to users in Manchester and London, or a US statewide political campaign could focus its Promoted Accounts campaigns precisely where a candidate is running for office.”

“…users will see more relevant, useful Promoted Tweets and Accounts in their Twitter web and mobile apps.”

Twitter played a small but important role in the 2008 US Presidential election but campaigners then didn’t have the ability to target users in any granular way.  Now with this system campaigns and organisations supporting one side of the other can also  promote Tweets in a focused way, not previously possible.

So, the Presidential campaigns in the US now have the ability to specifically target the electorate in key swing states – and with more voters owning smartphones and tablets than during the previous campaign – Twitter has opened a new front for campaign managers.  With the campaign heating up no doubt that both sides will be eager to use this system to court voters on desktop and mobile devices.

Will Romney or Obama be the first to leverage this system? And will it have a measurable impact on the final outcome?

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