TWITTER ADDS ‘BUY’ BUTTON

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Twitter has taken tentative steps towards e-commerce, by introducing a ‘buy’ button to select US tweets for the first time.

The new feature, introduced initially “for a small percentage of US users”, lets followers purchase goods directly from promoted tweets without having to go through a third party or even leave their feed.

It marks the first time Twitter has taken payment data directly from its users, opening it up to a plethora of potential annoyances. Until now, Twitter has always been somewhat of a social media safe haven, where you could avoid advertisers’ messages and access information from only those who you choose to follow.

Perhaps in these times of increasing mobile purchases it was inevitable? In 2012, 25 billion dollars worth of consumer transactions were made via smartphones and tablets in the US, so it’s certainly a trend that makes sense for Twitter to tap into.

Twitter’s group product manager, Tarun Jain, said: “This is an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun.

“Users will get access to offers and merchandise they can’t get anywhere else and can act on them right in the Twitter apps for Android and iOS; sellers will gain a new way to turn the direct relationship they build with their followers into sales.”

“We’re not building this alone,” Jain continued. “We’ve partnered with Fancy, Gumroad, Musictoday and Stripe as platforms for this initial test, with more partners to follow soon.”

Once the user hits ‘buy’, they are given additional details about the product and prompted to enter shipping and payment info, which is saved for future transactions.

Although Twitter’s buy button will initially only be available to a very small group of US users, it plans to roll it out to a wider selection in the future.

Surely it’s precisely what modern day consumers want? Fast, efficient purchasing without the hassle of opening a new tab? Should the right item pop onto my feed at the right time, I’d definitely click through to buy it.