With an eye to release widely expected initial public offering in 2014, Twitter, a privately owned $10 billion advertising engine, has declared it’s starting individually targeted ads soon using cookies. In its initial stage, this will be limited within US users only. Once this promotional style for brands and businesses gets through, it will be let loose to the full web platform. As of now, everything about it will be on experimental basis.

As far as my memory goes, there are several instances where we found experimental endeavors were eventually transformed into regular practices and norms. If majority supports a survey, then there is no wise person who would be acting against popular stance. In fact, if you want to take what other people say with a grain of salt, you will find no better way than experimenting before you implement anything to a system. Twitter is out to bank on this theory.

Twitter has an enviable user-base (twitterati), equivalent to the size of the world and it’s growing every second! Counting the chickens, Twitter has quite rightly decided to begin displaying promoted content from brands and businesses, by using browser cookies.

What it has given rise to simultaneously is trespassing into internet privacy of its users will start occurring. Although Google, Facebook, Amazon and practically every other website do practice the use of cookies, Twitter will be no new passenger in the compartment. It will just be a new addition to the bandwagon. Why didn’t it then follow the popular suit yet might be best known to it only? In my assumption, maybe to distinguish itself as an esteemed social networking platform.

How does Twitter plan to use cookies, an effective online tracking technology, to promote brands and businesses among its target users? Twitter explained it in its blog post by giving an example of how Valentine’s Day special products of a local florist will be promoted among Twitter users. The list of fans of the florist who have so far subscribed to their newsletter or kept returning to their website must be available with the florist. The florist then share scrambled or unreadable email address (a hash) and browser-based information or cookies ID of their fans with Twitter. Twitter will then match the information to the accounts and start displaying them the Promoted Tweet (here for example, the Valentine Day special offer). This way the promotional practice will be made. However, no extra information about the advertisers will be given to the users.

Do they pose to be a threat to privacy option? Not at all, because users can ‘uncheck’ the advertisement box next to ‘promoted content’ in their account settings. Once unchecked, Twitter will never match that account to information shared by its ad partners for tailoring ads.

Twitter might be in an endeavor to make a strong foothold on ad promotion. But, it has all intention to protect its users’ privacy fully. To ensure it, Twitter said it would give its users the option of disabling cookies by enabling Do Not Track (DNT) option   (in their browser.