We ‘retweet’ and ‘favourite’ all day long, but will a ‘buy’ button be enticing enough for us to click? Social media has become an integral part of almost everyone’s online life, so it just makes sense to make all our lives a little easier by combining many online users’ two favourite things: social networking and online shopping. Twitter has stepped in to make this happen!

Consumers will see this new feature appear across the Twitterverse in the near future, as the social networking service has been actively testing out their new buy button, with a select number of American users already coming across it in their feeds. Over time, Twitter will make this feature available to all US users. After months of development and testing, the buy button is the biggest effort by Twitter to transform themselves into an e-commerce service to date.

Buy Now Screengrab

How does Twitter’s buy button work?

To put it briefly, the buy button allows you to purchase something directly from a tweet. At the click of a button, consumers will be able to purchase an item from select brands, artists and non-profit organizations. Twitter has partnered with the online payment service Stripe, as well as a few other partners, to process transactions in a matter of clicks. After clicking the buy button, you’ll receive additional product details and be prompted to enter your shipping and payment information. Once confirmed, your order information is sent to the merchant for fulfillment (Business Insider).

Buy Button Video Screengrab

How does Twitter’s buy button differ from other social payment systems?

Now, how is this any different than the e-commerce attempts seen by competing social media sites, such as Facebook and Pinterest? The others have experimented with e-commerce, as Facebook began testing of its own buy button in July, but Twitter believes they can break the mould by having key strengths that give them an edge over their competition.

The great thing about Twitter, and why the social media site has been successful thus far, is the conversations it creates between users across the globe. Twitter stresses the importance of its ‘influencers’ when it comes to their users clicking the buy button. Unlike their competition, Twitter has a strong presence of influencers, those who have the power to affect mass decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) knowledge or relationship, and who will ultimately drive consumers to make purchases (Business Dictionary).

Additionally, Twitter is a truly real-time service that pressures users to approach things with a sense of urgency. If someone sees something they like on their feed, Twitter believes users will feel the need to hit ‘buy’ immediately, instead of risking the chance that it will get lost within minutes in their updated feeds.

Finally, Twitter also feels confident that they have the perfect algorithms to help users see the offers they want and at the right time, leading to the ultimate social media and e-commerce partnership.

Will it work? And most importantly, will you use it?

Although the buy button has rolled out to some accounts, it’s still in its early stages. Twitter has acknowledged that they’re not aiming for the stars, but instead introducing the service to a limited group to see how e-commerce will resonate with their consumers, and not worrying too much about revenue at this point in the process. The move to e-commerce is strategic for Twitter, in order to try and make the social media site more attractive to businesses, and thus drive ad dollars.

We’re sure you’ve seen a thing or two while scrolling your Twitter feed that you wish you could buy. A fairly broad group of brands, artists and non-profit organizations have also shown their interest in the introduction of e-commerce on the popular social media site, as the first list has already been released of who will be helping with the testing of the new buy button.

Buy Button Brand List

Although there will be some users finding themselves persuaded to click the convenient buy button, Twitter will certainly have to find a way to overcome a lot of hesitation from their users who may not feel so comfortable with the ease of purchasing items through their tweets. Security issues aside, there’s an opportunity here for great success, but only time will tell if consumers will venture over from ‘retweet’ and ‘favourite’ to click BUY. You’re already plugged in online every day, so when it appears in your feed, will you click the buy button?

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