Twitter is Working With Payments Startup Stripe on its Commerce Initiative

by Nikhil Joseph 0

In my personal opinion, there is no social media platform that is as effective for content consumption as Twitter. You can find people to follow who are the preeminent thought leaders in a particular field of interest. What’s even better, is that you can actually interact with them (or at least try to). Now, Twitter is making a play for something completely different—e-commerce.

“Later this year, Twitter is expected to unveil buttons within tweets that say “Buy” or some variation of the word; after clicking on the button, shoppers are expected to be able to enter in payment and possibly shipping information without leaving Twitter’s service. Sources say that businesses that want to sell products or services within tweets are being instructed to sign up with Stripe to process payments on their behalf,” according to Recode.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. While many celebrities on Twitter already use the platform to promote products or services they have an interest in or are being paid to do so, the option to make a purchase without leaving Twitter did not exist. For Twitter, this was a strategic weakness. In the battle for scarce consumer attention, you do not want your customers to click on a link and be taken to, say, Amazon.

Of course, Amazon does pay Twitter for the referral, but Twitter makes its money primarily by holding the attention of its users and showing them ads within their streams. With the new “Buy” option being embedded in a tweet, Twitter is hoping can do their shopping without leaving their website. Of course, this will not work for many kinds of goods.

However, one can see marketers deploying this tool to encourage impulse purchases of things like apparel and electronics. There’s also no reason to limit such a capability to e-commerce payments, P2P (peer to peer) transfers between twitter users could be another lucrative avenue for growth. As Venmo’s success shows, there clearly is demand for a payments app that has social characteristics.


Overview by Nikhil Joseph, Analyst, Emerging Technology Services

To read the full story, go to Recode.