Apple had unveiled Apple Pay last week, which is a new feature that lets users pay for items using their iPhone 6. One day before the launch, a company had first introduced a “Buy” button as its new service – Twitter.
Twitter Commerce is the company’s own attempt at e-commerce where its users can see and purchase items directly from the Twitter app. The service is only being experimented on selected users in the United States and is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
The new service is only available on mobile, just like Apple Pay, which uses the Passbook app to keep credit card information.
Is Twitter Commerce a competitor to Apple Pay?
Speaking at the CTIA, Adam Bain, the social network’s president of global revenue, said it’s not a competitor to Apple. He also claims that Twitter is really excited that Apple came up with Apple Pay and that anything that minimizes the friction on purchasing from a smartphone is a “good thing.”
The “Buy” button would appear on someone’s timeline if merchandise is available and he can act on it immediately by tapping the button. Bain added that Twitter can be a tool for people to look for and discover products so it’s not necessary that the users will buy from the app. Where they chose to buy can be changed, meaning that a Twitter user can discover an item on Twitter but he can choose to purchase the said item in a physical store, using other method of payment – like Apple Pay.
It’s not only Apple Pay that was discussed by Bain at the trade show. One of Apple’s most talked about recently-unveiled products is the Apple Watch. It’s the company’s version of a wearable device and won’t be available until next year but already the excitement of consumers is palpable.
Twitter was one of the apps featured in Apple’s WatchKit. You can use Twitter on the smartwatch, read tweets and also view images. The photos can fill up the entire small screen.
Bain said that the wearables arena is interesting and it’s a good thing for Twitter to be available in small and large platforms. He said that certain features, like promoted videos, are better suited for larger screens but he also thinks that Twitter’s mobile nature will suit well in a watch.
He added that Twitter users tend to glance at their timelines several times a day, like they do with their watches so combining the two together would make sense. Making Twitter available on wearable devices like Apple Watch would mean that it will be more accessible.
Bain also talked about the personal nature of reading tweets on a watch, saying that emotions and connections will be “more dramatic”.
Asked if Twitter ads will make their way to the Apple Watch, Bain did not give a specific answer but he also didn’t rule the possibility out.
Bain also hinted that a possible partnership with Apple is possible in the future, adding when the time is right.