Welcome to the world of segmentation. Advertisers now have the ability to target promotions to Twitter users based on gender. From the Twitter HQ:
Similar to our approach to interest targeting, we’re able to understand gender by taking public signals users offer on Twitter, such as user profile names or the accounts she or he follows. We have strong confidence in this approach. A panel of human testers has found our predictions are more than 90 percent accurate for our global audience. And where we can’t predict gender reliably, we don’t — and those users won’t be targetable through this feature.
It is interesting that Twitter is pulling in data based on "profile names or the accounts she or he follows." While I'm not one to question a room full of MIT mathmeticians, it will be interesting to see if the "gender option" will increase the success rate of promotional tweets.
Twitter may also be using more than just the gender option associated with an account to classify the user. They may also be segementing based on content. See tweet below from Edwin Chen, data scientist at Twitter. Thanks to Matt McGee from MarketingLand for leading me to this tweet.
Honestly, I could write five pages on this tweet alone. I'm not sure whether I should be excited by the ability to target based on gender or sad becaise of the content of the tweets ("Vampire Diaries!")
While not an earth shattering announcement, the new feature will add to the increasing list a segmentation features within the Twitter advertising platform (mobile, geographic, and interest-based). And at the very least, gives Twitter avertisers another button to click in their dashboard.