Twitter wants to know the apps you use on your phone with the App Graph tool

Posted on Nov 28 2014 - 8:50pm by Sukanya
Twitter introduces App Graph

Twitter introduces App Graph

Conventional Social Media bases its existence on a good community of advertisers and users to view those commercial ads. Although social network sites like Facebook are facing criticism from users all over the world for their close-mouthed ‘research operations’ on the data that comes streaming into their back logs, one thing that will never really stop is the effort that these companies take to help sponsoring advertisers get to the right customer more efficiently. 

One such audacious venture comes from renowned microblogging site, Twitter. Advertising doesn’t make sense when it can’t reach the target audience which is why Twitter wants to get a clearer perspective of what we use on our smartphones so it can channel its advertisers’ promotional campaigns to relevant consumers. 

Twitter has released what it calls ”App Graphs” – a tool that it will use to scan the list of apps it identifies on your phone. In other words, it will be “collecting and occasionally updating” the log it will maintain of the apps installed on your Apple or Android device as a result of which the site will be able to show you relevant “promoted content” which means ads. Twitter also wants to help you find people and threads you might be interested to follow. 

Last year, Twitter took the brunt of criticism for launching ad targeting features that included cookies to learn the location of a device that a user is logging in from and also tap into the records of the other sites he visited from the device. Along came email-based ad targeting causing uproar as concerns for internet privacy mounted. That was followed by geo-tagging to work like Point-of-Sale advertising for third-party retail merchants.

Talking about the App Graph, Twitter guarantees that while it tracks the types of apps on your phone, it will not so much as peek into them meaning that it will not lay hands on data from within those apps. As expected, the site also gives users the option to stay out off the radar. 

How to turn off Twitter App Graph

The Twitter app will first send you a notification prompt to inform you that it has activated the App Graph feature on your phone to make your experience on its site more custom-made. Until then, your apps are not being tracked by it. 

However, once you get notified, you can turn it off. iPhone users can simply choose the “Limit Ad Tracking”option on their device settings. Android users will have to select “Opt out of Interest-based ads” option. 

Also note that if these settings are already activated on your phone, Twitter will not initiate the App Graph feature for you.

If you wish to alter Twitter’s in-app settings, you can go to Settings > Twitter > Privacy and make sure the option: “Tailor Twitter based on my apps” is deselected (for Android)

On iOS devices, go to Settings > Other and uncheck “Tailor Twitter based on my apps” feature. 


Advertisers who choose to promote their business on social media sites hold a stake in them and it is a necessity for the latter to be able to show them that their ads are reaching consumers effectively.

Facebook too introduced the Facebook Audience Network to help ads get to the right viewer using their already strong data analytics pool. But these ventures often lead to encroachment into the privacy of users. While the App Graph may come across to majority of users as an intrusion, there is a sizable portion of supporters for this model who weigh the advantages it will bring to them in helping them view content that matches their personality, traits and habits. Less irrelevancy translates into pleasing experience.

Also read: Fabric- the adaptive app building tool from Twitter


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