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Twitter goes after one of Facebook’s most popular features

by Jacob Kleinman | July 7, 2015July 7, 2015 10:20 am PDT

Twitter can’t really compete with Facebook when it comes to size and popularity, but that hasn’t stopped the smaller social network from trying. Now it’s rolling out a new feature seemingly designed to take a bite out of one of Facebook’s best uses: keeping track of birthdays.

Moving forward you’ll be able to tell Twitter your birthday. Then, when the big day arrives, your profile page will be covered in digital balloons to celebrate. That should help remind other people to wish you happy birthday, though adding a balloon or two to the smaller image that appears by your tweets in the main timeline might be even more effective.

You can also control exactly who sees it’s your birthday. Choose to make that information public, or restrict it to your followers, people you follow or just you. The one drawback is that Twitter will share the data with advertisers no matter which privacy setting you pick.

Of course, we assume Facebook shares our birthdays with ad networks as well. Twitter’s decision to do the same doesn’t really come as a big surprise, though if it makes you uncomfortable just don’t tell the company your birthday. All you’ll be missing is a few celebratory balloons for one day every year.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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