Twitter Debuts Customer-Matching Tool for Advertisers

Twitter Inc. is releasing a tool that makes it easier for advertisers to find their customers who also use the social-messaging service.

The feature will let marketers review e-mail addresses to identify and target users who match up with a company’s own customer lists, San Francisco-based Twitter said in a blog post today.

Twitter is working to help advertisers target its 200 million members as the microblogging site seeks to reach $1 billion in sales by next year. The customer-matching option steps up competition with Facebook Inc. for social-network advertising revenue, which is set to grow 32 percent this year to $9.08 billion, according to EMarketer Inc.

Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo has expanded ad tools this year ahead of a widely anticipated initial public offering. While Costolo hasn’t discussed timing and has said that management isn’t concentrating on a share sale, money from a public debut could be used to fund an expansion and give early investors a way to realize financial gains from their holdings.

In June, Twitter struck a deal to provide data to WPP Plc, the world’s largest advertising company. The partnership will help improve WPP’s media and analytics products.

Twitter is also opening an ad platform used by Adobe Systems Inc. and Inc. and letting marketers reach users based on keywords in their postings.

Facebook’s custom-audience service, rolled out at the end of 2012, lets advertisers send messages to users with whom they have an existing relationship, matching them up via e-mail addresses and phone numbers.

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