With its 140-character capacity where you can share your thoughts, photo sharing feature, ability to break news like no other social media can, you’d think that there’s nothing more Twitter can offer. Just yesterday, the company has proven us wrong. Now, it can add “online store” to the list of things it can do.
The social network company made an announcement on Monday that it would test a “buy” button available to a small percentage of users in the United States that will allow them to buy items with just a few clicks.
The latest feature, which will be initially limited to Twitter’s mobile versions and focused on selling time-sensitive or limited-edition items such as event tickets and T-shirts, is a great prospect for possible new stream of revenues for the company. Twitter is solely relying on advertising at the present to generate income.
Twitter is not the first social media that had thought of entering the mobile e-commerce world – in fact, the competition is continuing to intensify. Apple is about to launch its own mobile payment system as part of its latest operating system, while Facebook, Twitter’s archrival, has rolled out its “buy” button service in July. Pinterest has long since let its users to buy products that they like on the social media.
These social networks have seen the potential of e-commerce and now they are using it as moneymaker. Each of them is testing out different ways that would make it easy for consumers to directly buy from their sites.
Online sales associated with different social media have generated billions of dollars as marketers, big and small, post messages on social networks like Twitter to promote their products and services adding links to their sites where potential consumers can buy from.
Now Twitter, like Facebook, Pinterest, and in the coming days, Apple, too, have come out with its own process that would keep consumers from leaving its app or site by allowing them to purchase advertised items instantly. This would also allow the company to charge third-party companies for using the transaction.
The new service is different from Twitter’s previous attempt at e-commerce that required buyers to post a public message along with a special hashtag before they can purchase the product.
Buyers will just click on the “buy” button that can be found within the Twitter post. They will then be asked to enter their credit card as well as shipping details. If they have used the service earlier, they will just be asked to confirm the purchase by clicking again.
This test will only be available to a small number of users in the U.S. with the number to grow in the future. In the meantime, the users who are part of the test can choose to buy from different products for sale. A group of marketers are already offering their items, including popular celebrities such as Eminem and Rihanna, big retailers like Burberry and Home Depot, and nonprofit organizations like Red, DonorsChoose and Nature Conservancy.