Last year, Twitter revealed that followers exposed to promoted tweets buy more in stores. Now it's capitalizing on our insatiable desires for stuff with the introduction of a "buy" button.
In a blog post today, Twitter Group Product Manager Tarun Jain confirmed speculation that has been circulating since July when users started to report “Buy now” buttons in occasional tweets. Jain noted that Twitter is testing "a new way for you to discover and buy products," adding, "For a small percentage of US users (that will grow over time), some Tweets from our test partners will feature a 'Buy' button, letting you buy directly from the Tweet."
A Shopaholic's Dream
Jain described the new buy function as "an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun." He continued,
"Users will get access to offers and merchandise they can’t get anywhere else and can act on them right in the Twitter apps for Android and iOS; sellers will gain a new way to turn the direct relationship they build with their followers into sales."
Twitter is partnering with several companies, including Fancy, Gumroad, Musictoday and Stripe, for the initial test. Jain said more partners will follow soon.
How easy is it to buy from a tweet? If you lack impulse control, perhaps too easy, as Jain explained:
An entire purchase can be completed in just a few taps. After tapping the 'buy' button, you will get additional product details and be prompted to enter your shipping and payment information. Once that’s entered and confirmed, your order information is sent to the merchant for delivery."
One Person's Pleasure, Another's Pain
The move generated a mixed reaction, often sarcastic reaction, in the Twittersphere.
Looks a lot like a desperate attempt to get a share of e-pie. Twitter testing a "buy" button. https://t.co/Vnw6MPVQBD— Francois Heinderyckx (@FHeinderyckx) September 8, 2014
People are way too quick to dismiss Twitter's Buy button. Think how impulse spending works. Remember potato salad on Kickstarter?— Dave Winer ☮ (@davewiner) September 8, 2014
Just what I wanted!!! "Twitter testing a 'buy button'" http://t.co/5SUrHC0Dfu— Atanas Entchev (@atanas) September 8, 2014
How do you feel about Twitter's move to e-commerce?