What Will Twitter Ecommerce be Like?
As retail giants like Amazon and eBay are exploring new means by which to use ecommerce solutions to bolster their own businesses and partner businesses, and as PayPal is stretching its own wings to further expand its status as the giant among internet credit card processing services, there are now rumors flying that a new and somewhat unexpected service may be getting into the game. Twitter, it is rumored, is considering a new platform that will allow its millions of users to actually purchase items through direct links embedded in tweets.
Twitter, however, has made a business out of short, sweet bursts of information. How would such a service work? What would it look like? A new Web mockup shows not only how a Twitter internet credit card processing service might look, but how it might work, and indicates that it may be closer to reality than we realize.
The mockup website discovered by Recode appears to demonstrate a means by which users will be able to make purchases within tweets, which would carry a Twitter Commerce label. When the user clicks the tweet, a “Buy With” button would initiate the transaction and provide options for making the purchase, including entering credit card numbers and other relevant forms of payment.
The mockup website, posted by online commerce site Fancy.com, isn’t clear whether the user would have to enter payment information with each transaction, or if Twitter would offer a means by which the information could be stored for future use. It’s important to note that chairman and co-founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey is on the board of Fancy.com, which further lends credence to the validity of the mockup. Neither Twitter nor Fancy are commenting on the site, however.
Recode speculates that any Twitter commerce system will be powered by Stripe, an online payment and internet credit card processing company that recently reported $80 million in funding and has been rumored for at least a month to be partnered with Twitter.
Why is the potential for Twitter commerce so important? The service, which is wildly popular across all sectors of society—private, public, entertainment and professional—has yet, even after all these years, to become a truly profitable platform for its owners. As it draws near to its first ever quarterly reporting, and with stock prices on the rise, it’s certain that both analysts and investors alike will be interested in any ideas the company has to boost revenue and move further towards major profitability.
Such an initiative, if the mockup website proves in any way accurate or true, would certainly change the entire focus of Twitter—once the potential for direct sales enters the picture, it nearly always, if it proves profitable, results in a shift towards commerce as a main goal of the service. It still remains to be seen if Twitter will adopt this model, one similar to it, another sales model for internet credit card processing transactions altogether, or if these are unfounded rumors, but it is an intriguing idea.