Since its IPO last year, Twitter has ramped up its efforts to advertise and ignite conversation about products. Putting its money where its mouth is, the social media platform is experimenting with business models to allow users to buy products directly from its site. Recent news of this plan comes from information leaked on Friday via the Internet.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the leak came through mock-ups posted on the website of Fancy.com, an e-commerce company based in New York. The images, which have since been removed from public view, imply that Fancy.com may be one of Twitter´s potential retail associates.
The mock-ups displayed how “Twitter Commerce” posts would appear in the main feed and lead users to a page with an enlarged product image and additional product info, as well as links to related products. From this page, users could proceed to check out and track the order.
Customers are more likely to make purchases when they are not redirected toward product sites. This would have implications for content marketing and writing, should Twitter´s e-commerce plans be realized. Making conversions on social media platforms rather than on main product content sites would require different strategies.
Twitter´s plans to go commercial had entered the rumour mill before the mock-up sighting on Friday. In August, Twitter hired Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard to be head of commerce. In January of this year, the Wall Street Journal reported – based on information first revealed by Recode – that Twitter was in talks with the payment processing company Stripe. The companies are neighbours in San Francisco. TechCrunch reported that another potential payment processor is PayPal.
What are prospects like for this proposed fledgling Twitter e-Commerce endeavour? The messaging service would need to face competition from established e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay. Facebook is also beginning to get its feet wet in the e-commerce waters. In August, it began trying ways to facilitate Facebook users making purchases through retailers´ mobile apps. At this point, revenue from e-commerce accounts for what is considered a small 11% of their earnings.
Among Twitter’s previous initiatives to monetize their service they have promoted and targeted tweets, credit card syncing (partnering with American Express), and hashtag commerce (with Chirpify).