Twitter needs to make more money from advertising - to do that it has decided to follow the lead of other free content social media networks by targeting its users' cookies to create tracking profiles for its ad partners.
The privately-held micro-blogging site said in a blog post that it would, for now, be displaying promoted content from brands and businesses in the US.
It justified the shift by stating that other companies already use this method and added:
Users won't see more ads on Twitter, but they may see better ones.
Twitter has also switched the ad-targeting feature on by default, so users will have to proactively uncheck a box in their account settings to prevent the network from sifting through a person's cookies that are stored on their computer.
The company added that it supports the Do Not Track initiative that has long been heralded by browser maker Mozilla's Firefox. Twitter said that users who have DNT enabled will not be bugged by its ad-ferreting partners.
The network did not say whether it had plans to allow advertisers tp begin tracking users in Europe on the service. Current EU law requires sites to obtain a visitor's consent before they install a cookie in their browser. ®