Twitter is now recording every app you have installed on your mobile device.
The social media is collecting and updating the list of apps every Twitter user has installed – unless you opt out by changing internal settings.
The aim of this collection is to offer Twitter users “tailored content” depending on what apps they have installed, whether that be relevant install ads or promoted content.
In a blog post, Twitter said: “We are only collecting the list of applications you have installed. We are not collecting any data within the applications. We’ve designed app graph to exclude apps that appear to be especially sensitive, such as ones dealing with your health, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.”
The company said they are using the information to suggest improved “who to follow” suggestions, including adding Tweets, accounts and promoted content that users might be interested in.
Twitter said this feature will only be turned on once you see a prompt, that says they are now collecting info about the apps on your device:
“If you do not see Tailor Twitter based on my apps in your account settings, app graph collection is not occurring for your account.”
To check whether you’ve seen this prompt, or if app tracking is live on your account, you can follow these steps:
In an article on Stratechery, tech author Ben Thompson said it is Twitter’s graph that makes the company so valuable:
“I would argue that what makes Twitter the company valuable is not Twitter the app or 140 characters or @names or anything else having to do with the product: rather, it’s the interest graph that is nearly priceless. More specifically, it is Twitter identities and the understanding that can be gleaned from how those identities are used and how they interact that matters. If one starts with that sort of understandingâ€Š–â€Šthat Twitter the company is about the graph, not the appâ€Š–â€Šone would make very different decisions. For one, the clear priority would not be increasing ad inventory on the Twitter timeline (which in this understanding is but one manifestation of an interest graph) but rather ensuring as many people as possible have and use a Twitter identity. And what would be the best way to do that? Through 3rd-parties, of course!”
Read more about the Twitter update here.