News and Views

Twitter wants to spy on the other mobile apps you download – here’s how to stop it

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If you are using Twitter for Android

You need to go into settings, tap the account you’d like to adjust and under “other” you can adjust the setting to “tailor Twitter based on my apps”.

If you are using Twitter for iOS

Go into settings, find the account you want to change and, under Privacy, you can change the setting to “tailor Twitter based on my apps”.


Twitter is to start monitoring the other apps that you download to your mobile phone and use that data to help sell advertising.

The company says it’s about making a “more personal Twitter experience for you” so that it can deliver “tailored content that you might be interested in”.

Twitter will only collect the list of names of apps you install – your “app graph” data – rather than the content within those apps, but it’s still a little creepy.

Presumably it will be able to start finding similarities between people who download similar apps, and perhaps help Twitter sell ads to app developers keen to get more downloads – something that Facebook monetises very effectively.

So, for example, it would be able to tell that people who tend to download Evernote might also be interested in fitness tracking apps, for example. This will bolster the data that Twitter can glean from the content of people’s tweets and the accounts that people follow.

In Twitter’s announcement about the new feature, it focuses on improvements to the content that you will see, including showing you people to follow based on their similar interests, and to add content to your timeline from accounts you don’t already follow that Twitter thinks you might find interesting.

This is the latest in Twitter’s attempts to boost revenues from its userbase, following in the footsteps of Facebook, which already does this.

Thankfully, Twitter has made it easy to opt out.

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