As a marketing tool, Twitter may be a business’ dream. The microblogging website is a pop culture phenomenon, and businesses of all shapes and sizes are looking to carve out a niche audience and engage with potential customers via this platform. Now, the website has unveiled another tool designed to improve the way businesses on Twitter market to potential customers.

On August 31, Twitter unveiled an interest-based targeted internet marketing tool, which should allow businesses to simultaneously reach a larger and more specific audience with Twitter ads. Advertisers will be able to browse interest categories, which are grouped by topicality, and target their Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts towards these specific audiences.

For example, a pet store marketing football-themed doggy gear for the new NFL season might want to target its ads towards Twitter users interested in “pets,” “sports” and “football.” Targeting can be as broad or as specific as businesses desire, and in test runs, the system has yielded expanded audience reach and higher engagement, according to Twitter. The microblogging company owns the “interest graph” that categorizes users by its 350-odd categories.

Twitter’s approach follows in the footsteps of other internet giants that are looking to develop targeted internet marketing strategies, as we have reported on this blog. Marketers are likely already familiar with efforts made by Google and social media giant Facebook to leverage user data into targeted advertising.

This trend should continue, particularly given the higher rate of consumers using the internet on mobile devices. Given the mobility of these platforms, many consumers are logging in while on-the-go, which lends itself well to the type of localized, targeted internet marketing many businesses now favor.