Twitter commences collecting and maintaining a list of your installed apps to screw up your timeline

If you use the Twitter.app, you may have seen the following in-app alert earlier today:

What's going on? It's called app graph, and you're just going to immediately not feel great about it. Twitter explains:

To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in. If you’re not interested in a tailored experience you can adjust your preferences at any time.

What is app graph on Twitter? | Twitter Help Center

And by tailored experience you mean what exactly?

  • Improved “who to follow” suggestions that share similar interests.
  • Adding Tweets, accounts, or other content to your timeline that we think you'll find especially interesting.
  • Showing you more relevant promoted content.

In other words they're messing with your timeline again, and trying to provide better information to their advertisers. Perfect. But isn't collecting and maintaining a list of the apps you use on the iPhone kind of unprecedented? Actually, not so much:

Though some may react to Twitter’s move as being something of an over-reach – after all, it’s scooping up data about things that have nothing to do with your use of Twitter itself – the reality is that many companies do this sort of thing today, they just don’t disclose it to their users. In fact, a number of analytics’ providers’ SDKs, for example, track users across apps where they’re installed, giving the app makers a similar data set in order to identify the “persona” of a user, which in turn allows them to draw broader insights about their own customer base.

Facebook is also able to see which apps users have installed on their phones, if the apps use the Facebook SDK (as many do).

Twitter’s New App Tracking Capabilities To Help Personalize User Experience, Benefit Advertisers | TechCrunch

Icky? Yes. Already happening on your phone? Roger that. Easy to turn off? Just hit the "review settings" link in the alert to disable "Tailor Twitter based on my apps", and you and Twitter are good as gold again.