Whistle while you work? Nah, shop while you tweet. Twitter is finally figuring out the revenue side of its service by unveiling buy buttons in certain tweets. I know what you’re thinking affiliate marketers, but hold on.
Today’s feature is just a test of the buy button. That means a fraction of U.S. users will see the buttons in their timelines across iOS and Android. Before you break out a shopping list, the test is being limited to major brands, artists and nonprofits.
Luxury brand Burberry is in on the test, as well as DonorsChoose and Pharrell. No word on if you get to buy his ridiculous hats. Tarun Jain talked about the move in a statement. “This is an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun.”
Yeah, you hear the footsteps of Wall Street and know you have to start juicing sales in a hurry. This isn’t the company’s first foray into e-commerce. Earlier this year, Twitter unveiled #AmazonCart with a partnership with Amazon. Users could put a product in their shopping cart by responding to a product tweet with that hashtag.
The question is, will the buy buttons take off? It seems there is a steady diet of data breaches hitting major retailers. The whole ‘buy online’ is leaving consumers with a bad taste in their mouth due to security concerns. Plus, other efforts to get people to buy products via social media have stumbled out of the gate.
Facebook is trying a similar service, and Pinterest is ramping up its efforts. If I had to bet on a service winning in this arena, I’d go with Pinterest. The whole site is a collage of stuff people want to buy.
As for Twitter? Open it up. If you want to see the service work, let marketers take a stab at it. If the service is viable, affiliate marketers will prove it to you. Doing the proverbial ‘toe dip in the water’ hardly ever turns out well.
Wall Street is beating the profit drum. Having limited tests isn’t going to cut it for the quarterly reports and forecasts. Monetize and let small businesses play with the feature now.