In a move that was announced earlier today, Twitter will be looking to compete with other platforms such as Facebook in its attempts to intertwine commerce with social.
In Twitter’s words, they’re just “beginning to test a new way… to discover and buy products on Twitter.” Basically, it looks like they’re starting out fairly small and will most likely gradually increase partnerships (i.e., the number and variety of products that will be available for purchase). The merchants at this point include several well-known musical artists as well as some large retailers and non-profits, although the list isn’t very long currently, with only 28 artists/organizations mentioned in Twitter’s announcement. Making the list, though, were some pretty big names, including Eminem and Wiz Khalifa (if you’re into rap), Brad Paisley and Keith Urban (if you’re into that sort of thing), and The Home Depot and Burberry.
Tweets that are a part of the new program will reportedly feature a “Buy” button, although not all users will be able to see the button, at least initially (Twitter says it’s looking to expand the feature to more users, provided this whole thing doesn’t tank). Check out the screenshot below, and be sure to reach out with any comments of your own.
With concerns about user retention, along with the nature of Twitter in general, the jury on Twitter commerce is very much still out. It certainly seems like a stretch to think that people would ever go to Twitter specifically to shop, so the question turns into one of whether people will buy something that they weren’t otherwise planning on getting. Essentially, it’s like the classic POS impulse buy, but instead of targeting shoppers, merchants on Twitter would be targeting socialites who are wanting to keep up with the latest trends. This impulse-buy mentality could fit nicely with Twitter, and if that’s the case, you’ll likely be seeing a lot more of the “Buy” button on Twitter in the future.