Twitter Is Said to Ready Customer-Matching Ad Tool

Twitter Inc. plans to release a tool that makes it easier for advertisers to find their customers who also use the social-messaging service, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The feature will let marketers use e-mail addresses to identify and target Twitter users who match up with a company’s own customer lists, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan is private. The tool is similar to a custom-audience feature Facebook Inc. began offering in 2012 and will probably be unveiled by year’s end, the people said.

Twitter, with more than 200 million members, is helping advertisers tailor messages to users who are most likely to click on an ad. The customer-matching service may help the San Francisco-based microblogging site reach its goal of $1 billion in sales next year, and steps up competition with Facebook for social-network advertising revenue, which is set to grow 32 percent this year to $9.08 billion, according to EMarketer Inc.

Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo has expanded advertising offerings this year, opening an ad platform used by Adobe Systems Inc. and Inc. and letting marketers reach users based on keywords in their postings.

Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter, declined to comment on products in development.

Facebook’s custom-audience service lets advertisers send messages to users with whom they have an existing relationship, matching them up via e-mail addresses and phone numbers, among other methods. In March, the social network said the number of marketers using the tool had more than doubled.

Separately, Twitter today unveiled a service to help advertisers augment their TV campaigns through synchronized ads on the social-messaging service, according to a blog post. The company’s TV ad targeting lets marketers identify users who have posted messages about live television shows, then direct online ads to those users who may have recently seen a related ad on TV. The service uses technology created by Bluefin Labs, a startup Twitter acquired earlier this year.

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