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BizReport : : October 29, 2012

Twitter can now assign users a gender with 90% accuracy

How accurately can you tell a person's gender by their profile name and their social media posts? Fairly well, according to Twitter, who are assigning a gender to users based on a variety of signals.

by Helen Leggatt

twitter.pngMany marketers want to target prospects using gender. However, because this isn't information that Twitter asks for when a user signs up, the platform can't tell men from women.

Until now.

By using a variety of "signals", Twitter says it can predict whether a user is male or female with an accuracy of more than 90%.

Those signals include username, the accounts Followed and even words and phrases used.

"We've been working on using a variety of signals that could help us understand our users' gender reliably, while maintaining the simplicity of the Twitter profile that our users value," writes Twitter's revenue product manager, April Underwood, in a blog post. "These signals have proven effective in inferring gender, so starting today, we are making gender targeting available to all marketers."

When Twitter can't discern whether a user is male or female they don't take a guess. Instead, those users won't be targetable by gender.

Tags: advertising, campaign planning, gender, segmentation, social media, target profile, Twitter

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