Twitter has today launched interest targeting, incentivizing advertisers with 350 more reasons to pay to promote their tweets.

Interest targeting pivots around Twitter’s real-time interest graph and offers advertisers a way to target their messages to specific audiences by selecting from more than 350 interest-related categories. Offered interests include everything from specific life stages, particular pets, personal finance interests, style and fashion preferences, education levels, and movie and music genres.

Above: Twitter’s two-level interest hierarchy is composed of more than 350 categories.

The information network lets advertisers choose their audiences by selecting interests from a two-level hierarchy, as pictured right.

“As an example, if you were promoting a new animated film about dogs, you could select Animation, under Movies and Television; Cartoons, under Hobbies and Interests; and Dogs, under Pets,” explained Kevin Well, Twitter’s director of product management.

Advertisers looking to slice and dice audiences more precisely can create custom segments by selecting a few Twitter usernames that are relevant to their products or services. By picking out a specific @username, the advertiser can reach people with similar interests to the Twitter user’s followers (though they can’t specifically target the person’s followers).

“This is a huge step forward for our advertising platform — it’s our biggest launch since Promoted Tweets in timelines late last year, and we’re excited to get it in the hands of advertisers,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement emailed to VentureBeat.

The release is so monumental for the information network that it’s gone to extremes to protect the value of its prized interest graph, or the machine powering interest targeting. Twitter recently cut off access to its graph to competitors such as Tumblr and Instagram.