A new report has revealed that advertisers are now tracking which emojis people use on social media to determine their emotional state and then show them ads accordingly.
Previously, advertisers used to track which websites people frequently visited as well as their Google search histories to tailor ads, but brands may now be looking at the use of emojis.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, Twitter had already been sending data related to emoji use to advertisers since 2016. And the data, according to the report, turns out to be a “gold mine” for advertisers so that they can show ads based on a user’s current emotional state or mood.
Twitter revealed that brands can look at the emoji use data and target people who tweet food emojis, and then show them food-related ads.
In an article by Marketplace, Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer at 4C Insights — a company that works with Twitter — said that “if someone puts a thumbs up or a smiley face, show them this ad.”
“If they do a frowny face or a thumbs down, show them a different ad. We’ve seen people targeting football and basketball emojis for athletic wear.”
The report also detailed that while some emojis are more prominent, others are subtle and difficult to interpret. Smiley face emojis, heart eyes emojis, anger emojis or crying emojis are easier for advertisers to interpret and tailor ads accordingly.
That said, emojis like the blank-faced one, are difficult to interpret. As a result, advertisers are now employing artificial intelligence to detect and determine people’s emoji use patterns and assess why they might be using a certain emoji.
Advertisers are of the opinion that detecting people’s emoji use will not only be advantageous for brands, but customers will also be able to benefit from it as they will be able to see ads that are more relevant to them. On the other hand, the technology will allow brands to reach out to customers who are more likely to interact with their ads.
The report quoted TeeJay Hughes, strategic account manager at AdParlor’s — a company that offers ads based on emojis — as saying the following.
“Advertisers don’t want to sell you something if you don’t want it, right? It wastes our dollars and it wastes your time. So if we can make advertising relevant, that’s the beauty of it.”
While many brands are still considering the option of tracking people’s emoji use to show them relevant ads, others have already put the practice to use.
The report said that in 2017, Toyota initiated an advertisement campaign based on people’s emoji use. The car manufacturing giant created “83 different versions of the same commercial based on different emoji and published the ads on Twitter.”
Although advertisers will immensely benefit from the technology, it will raise privacy concerns as not all users will be comfortable with the idea of advertisers tracking their emoji use, the report concluded.