Many retailers would like to sell their products on Twitter. They may soon get their wish.
On Monday, tech news site Re/code discovered some interesting tweets on the mobile Twitter page of Fancy, an e-commerce and shopping app. The tweets contained a “Buy now” button next to a product photo and a sales price. Though the “Buy now” buttons didn’t work when pressed by a Re/code writer, several Twitter users reported earlier in the day that it directed them to a check-out page that allowed them to buy the items.
Could it be that Twitter plans to soon roll out a “Buy now” button broadly?
Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser and Fancy representatives declined to comment, but it seems highly plausible that the company has e-commerce plans in the works, Re/code columnist Jason Del Rey writes. “It would be difficult, if not impossible, for Fancy to include ‘buy now’ buttons in a tweet without Twitter’s approval. So it’s likely that in-tweet shopping is here, or coming soon.”
Early this year, Del Rey and former Re/code writer Mike Isaac discovered a mockup of a proposal on Fancy.com for how Twitter could introduce commerce to users. The proposal suggested that Twitter could partner with an e-commerce site—like Fancy, of course—and let retailers that sell through the e-commerce site put a “buy now” button on their Twitter ads.
Twitter has shied away from commerce so far, but the company has been under increasing pressure to turn a profit due to its recent IPO. A "buy now" button may be just what the company needs to lift its share price.
A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that Twitter plans to roll out 15 new ad products over the upcoming six months, including potentially ads that allow users to purchase products directly through Twitter, a download button for apps, an app that help advertisers collect email addresses and a click-to-call button. The new ad features would likely be tied to Twitter Cards, a technology that allows businesses to create expandable, enhanced ads with photos and other media.
However, WSJ says the company will need to be careful about not overdoing it:
As Twitter ushers out more ad products, the company will need to be careful not to inundate users with too many ads. Twitter has long maintained that the user experience comes first—one where the main timeline isn't overwhelmed by a rush of ads. The amount of ads served in users' timelines haven't increased much since 2010 when Twitter debuted its first advertising product.
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