Social networks have always been a great channel for getting the word out on a new product but, save for a few, they haven’t exactly been great for actually buying said product. Over the years, social networks, especially Facebook, have been working to bridge that gap and make it easy, perhaps too easy, to just jump in and buy something. Unsurprisingly, Twitter won’t be left behind and is already testing a big “SHOP” button on some of its tweets.
E-commerce is the train that social networks are trying to jump on, specifically the ability to quickly make a purchase from posts or videos. Facebook has littered both its own network as well as those of Instagram and WhatsApp with shopping features. YouTube is also testing putting links in some videos related to products.
It’s no surprise that Twitter is joining that bandwagon and it isn’t making a secret out of it. Talking with TechCrunch, it confirmed that it was testing ways how “organic” tweets could be used for e-commerce purposes. This would differ from outright ads in that creators will be the ones driving the narrative and the traffic to whatever store they’re using.
Twitter’s e-commerce experiment was first reported by social media consultant Matt Navarra, showing Twitter cards with a big blue “SHOP” button. The card also includes the name of the product, of course, but also the price of the item. This could help users from having to jump through hoops to buy something that caught their eye but it will definitely also make Twitter a profit in the long run.
This e-commerce initiative comes on the heels of a series of announcements and leaks revolving around how Twitter plans on monetizing its platform beyond just ads. In addition to paid tweets, the most recent revelation is the Super Follow system that turns the social network into something like Patreon or OnlyFans, rewarding followers with exclusive content in exchange for a subscription.