Twitter to start tracking which apps users download

Users must opt out of the update if they do not want the company to access this data

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Twitter to start tracking which apps users download (Getty Images)
By  Helen Gaskell Published  November 27, 2014

Twitter has announced that it will start collecting data on the apps which its users download.

According to Recode, the microblogging site plans to start collecting the information from users automatically unless they say otherwise.

In the Security and Privacy section of its support site, the company says that it will be "collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in".

The move will help Twitter better target its "promoted posts", but the company says it will also improve its suggestions for accounts to follow and adding "Tweets, accounts, or other content to your timeline that we think you'll find especially interesting".

In the past few months, Twitter started showing tweets to users from people they didn't follow, using an algorithm to identify tweets its new users may like. Twitter also recommends people for users to follow based on who else is in a person's network. Knowing which apps its users have gives Twitter another signal.

Users can opt out of Twitter's new data collection at any time within their phone settings, and the company will publish an in-app notification pointing users to the new data policy before any new app data is gathered. If a user does choose to opt out, any data previously collected from that user's phone will be deleted from Twitter's servers, according to Recode citing people familiar with the update.

The app update has already gone out to iOS users, and will surface for Android users in the next week or so.

Twitter has assured users that it will only track which applications you have installed, not any data from within the applications.

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