Twitter Is Testing an E-Commerce Shopping Feature on Tweets
Twitter is trying out a new shopping feature that would make it easier for users to shop e-commerce platforms directly from the platform.
The new “Twitter Card” tweet format would include a “shop” button and product details directly embedded into the tweet itself.
Twitter is experimenting with new shopping features 🛍
A NEW Twitter Card being tested for tweets containing links to product pages on a shop's website
New-style Twitter Shopping Card shows
- Product name
- Shop name
- Product price
- 'Shop' button
<-Old | New->
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) March 2, 2021
This is sort of a long time coming for Twitter, which has lagged behind its competitors like Facebook and Instagram (both under the Facebook umbrella), TikTok and YouTube, all of which have created ways to purchase products directly from the app. As content creators continue to evolve into commercial entities, and brands become more present on the timelines, having a way to quickly link to products will become more crucial.
Twitter’s is different because this shopping feature coincides with the new “Super Follow” subscription plan. Like paid email newsletters or Patreon pages—which allow people to subscribe to a content creator, artist, musician, etc. that they like, and in return get some sort of subscriber-only content—the Super Follow feature would give followers exclusive access to content, including some merchandise opportunities.
“We’re starting to explore ways to better support commerce on Twitter,” Bruce Falck, revenue lead for Twitter, said, according to TechCrunch. “We know people come to Twitter to interact with brands and discuss their favorite products. In fact, you may have even noticed some businesses already developing creative ways to enable sales on our platform. […] This demand gives us confidence in the power of combining real-time conversation with an engaged and international audience. Imagine easily discovering, and quickly purchasing, a new skincare product or trendy sneaker from a brand you follow with only a few clicks.”
The pivot to e-commerce has been a theme over the last few years, escalating in 2020. In the absence of live events in much of the U.S., apps and programs that were previously set up for other purposes are now seeing the potential revenue in e-commerce.
For example, ticketing platform Dice is letting artists make “limited-edition ‘product drops’” that fans can pick up at venues once shows return, or have them directly shipped to their homes. Like Twitter’s Super Follow, this would be available to fans who pay to watch a livestream event, or have bought tickets to a concert in real life.
E-commerce is already big for artists and content creators on the internet. Moving forward, it's also going to be somewhat tied to subscription models and exclusivity, which, if you think about it, isn’t that different from the streetwear landscape we’re already used to.