BrandArena: Twitter announces “buy” button on mobile ; its first commerce product

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Twitter announces “buy” button on mobile ; its first commerce product

Twitter has just introduced its first commerce product;  “buy” button that can be embedded in posts to allow users to buy a product with a couple of clicks. The feature, initially aimed at selling limited-edition or time-sensitive items such as T-shirts and event tickets, could eventually create a new revenue stream for the social network, which currently relies on advertising for virtually all of its income. The test comes as competition in the world of mobile e-commerce intensifies.

The company first signaled its interest in this area last year, when it hired former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard to lead its commerce team. Then it started recruiting other commerce specialists, and Recode got its hands on mock-ups of a Buy Now button. Over the summer, people started spotting those buttons in the wild.

In a blog post, the company says it will be visible to “a small percentage of U.S. users (that will grow over time).” As a result, users will actually be able to make purchases directly within tweets. If you see something you want, you hit “buy”, bring up a little information, enter your payment and shipping information while still Twitter (it’s encrypted and stored for future purchases), and complete the transaction “in just a few taps.”

Mr. Hubbard, the former Chief Executive of Ticketmaster, who joined Twitter a year ago to lead its commerce efforts said the test would initially be limited to a small number of Twitter users in the United States and would include items for sale from 19 entities, including popular musicians like Rihanna and Eminem, nonprofit groups like the Nature Conservancy and DonorsChoose, and the retailers Home Depot and Burberry.

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