Just when you thought social media couldn’t get better, Twitter jumps in the picture to surprise us with its new feature: The ‘Buy’ button.
At first, all social media platforms started only as channels to establish communication between users with no other intention than for people to interact, share and discuss information with each other, but as time went through, its history and purpose evolved into a more complex network of information, and today, as Twitter tests its new “Buy” button feature, we are experiencing the rise of a major change in the way we experience social media.
The new feature is now publicly being tested by Twitter after a few months of giving us hints on the company’s e-commerce ambitions. The button, which can be embedded in posts will allow users to easily buy or sell their products with just a couple of clicks.
The feature was first released and tested by Facebook -Twitter’s biggest competitor- allowing users to buy a product offered by small and medium-size businesses directly from a post to simplify the buying process for users, so they don’t have to leave Facebook’s business page to make the purchase.
As new forms of e-commerce through social media platforms evolved, Twitter urged to make the change and started testing the new feature, that in contrast with its previous e-commerce efforts with Amazon and American Express in which users had to send a message with a specific #hashtag to buy the product, this new ‘buy’ button will drive users directly to enter their information or to click on another button to confirm the purchase in case the credit card and shipping information is already on file.
All the transactions made on Twitter’s timeline will be managed by Stripe, a payment processor used by many other companies to handle financial activity between businesses and individuals and Fancy, Gumroad and Musictoday to handle shipping and product presentation.
Some of the first Twitter users who will test the feature in the United States are artists like Rihanna and Eminem, non profit groups like DonorsChoose and retailers like Home Depot and Burberry.
What Can a Twitter User Expect From This Change?
The feature is still being tested, but the benefits a user can expect to have are amazing. Twitter, known for its immediacy, adds a “real-time component that isn’t replicated anywhere else” says Nathan Hubbrad, former chief executive of Ticketmaster, who’s been leading Twitter’s e-commerce efforts for the past year. Users will benefit from saving time while they make their purchase through a new and simplified payment system integrated in Twitter’s timeline without having to visit the brand’s website to complete it.
Nathan Hubbrad, says that the products a user can sell or buy are still undetermined as it is unclear what the customer trend to buy on Twitter will be, although he suspects that “anything that is perishable, that has a temporal component to it, or a sense of urgency” might be what the customer wants.
This will make brands benefit from the different ways they can make commerce through the social platform, allowing them to offer fans their latest products, one time offers or give them certain benefits if a person retweeted or favorited a tweet.
Twitter is not the first social media platform to embed a ‘buy’ button on posts, but it is likely to outstand in the e-commerce market because of its own nature. Internet and social media users want immediacy, and Twitter is known from its very beginnings to be the immediate communication platform by excellence, and this new easy to use feature will likely drive users to make a quick purchase with that real-time feel everybody loves.
Once again, businesses will benefit from social media. Social media will no longer be exclusively to promote your brand, but you will also, in the near future, have the chance to actually sell your products and services on the spot.
What do you think? Would you use it?