Twitter's Buy Button Being Tested, Similarities with Facebook Continue
According to a blog post shared by Tarun Jain, Twitter is testing out a new feature that could seriously increase the social network's e-commerce influence. Known simply as the "buy" button, the feature will allow users to purchase products directly from a Tweet.
Jain, Twitter's group product manager, explains that the Buy button is intended to increase the convenience, ease and enjoyment of shopping from a mobile device. The button can only be seen by a small group of U.S. users at the moment, but it will become more visible over time. Facebook is testing a similar feature.
Buy Button Will Make Purchasing Simple
Twitter has teamed up with a payment processor known as Stripe, which will deal with the finances in each transaction. Three other marketing platforms - Gumroad, Musictoday and Fancy - will help sellers with order processing and product presentation. These companies have made it so that users will be able to purchase products from their Twitter stream with literally only two or three clicks. The seller can simply Tweet about a product and a user will be able to click the Buy button right on the Tweet. Users will then be prompted to enter shipping and credit card info. If that information is already on file, however, users will only have to click once to confirm the purchase after first clicking the Buy button. The system will be much simpler than the hashtag-based e-commerce efforts that Twitter has tried in the past with American Express and Amazon.
The Buy button will initially be tested on the Twitter accounts of around 28 nonprofits, artists and brands. These accounts include Demi Lovato, GLAAD, Pharrell, 9/11 Day and Pharrell. It's believed that the new functionality will bring a lot of revenue to Twitter, as the Buy button could cause many businesses to become more active on the platform and potentially buy more ads.
Twitter Becoming More Like Facebook?
People who love using Twitter often praise it for being a sleeker platform that's preferable to Facebook for networking, marketing and sheer enjoyment. At the same time, it can't be denied that Twitter and Facebook are slowly looking more and more like each other. While Twitter users don't have the detailed profiles or photo options that Facebook users do, both platforms have added features that originated in the other. For example, Facebook has added hashtags, trending topics and "following" capability - just to name a few. With the addition of the Buy button, Twitter might be following in Facebook's footsteps. Back in July, Facebook announced a very similar strategy. In fact, it could be argued that Facebook's Buy button is identical to Twitter's new strategy.
And that's not all - it was announced earlier this month that Twitter will eventually be using an algorithm that presents Tweets in a user's timeline based on relevance instead of simply showing every followed Tweet in chronological order. Sound familiar? It's the same way that Facebook's News Feed works. Content shock is likely a big factor behind this decision, but it seems to be angering many Twitter users nonetheless. In Twitter's defense, however, it's unlikely that the algorithmic timeline will be "forced" on any user - it will simply act as a new stream view. Nevertheless, we all might find ourselves using very similar strategies to get noticed on both platforms.