Twitter announced today that it is testing a "buy" button that would allow users to shop while they tweet by letting users buy directly from ads on their timelines.
The new feature will make shopping "convenient and easy" on Android and iOS smartphones. The buy button will be available for a select percentage of U.S. Twitter users, but it is expected to expand over time.
"This is an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun," says group product manager Tarun Jain.
The users that are testing the new feature will get offers and merchandise that are exclusive to Twitter. "Sellers will gain a new way to turn the direct relationship they build with their followers into sales," Twitter writes.
Nonprofits, celebrities and brands including RED, Pharrell and Burberry are teaming up with Twitter for the new feature.
Purchases can be made in a few taps on a smartphone screen. Users touch the "buy" button on advertisment tweets, and will be given additional product details before entering their payment info. Twitter partnered with Stripe Inc. payment company to save the information which is encrypted and safely stored. This will make future purchases a seamless shopping experience.
The new feature is an attempt to expand revenue for the San Francisco-based social media site, making the platform more appealing to advertisers. Twitter is feeling pressure from investors because of its slow user growth. The new buy button will entice users to shop while they tweet to bring direct sales to businesses.
The buy button allows Twitter users to shop and buy in an instant—after being persuaded by their favorite celebs. "We want to be a bridge between a consumer wanting something and getting it," Nathan Hubbard, Twitter's head of commerce says. "Conversations are happening every second on Twitter with artists and charities and consumers, and many of those conversations are leading to transactions already."
While the "buy" button is Twitter's first e-commerce initiative, the public company partnered with Amazon.com to allow users to add items to their shopping carts by responding to tweets with the hashtag #AmazonCart.
Analysts say that Twitter will have a hard time selling products because of current security breaches that have led to a lack of trust from consumers. "I applaud companies for taking risks and looking to innovate, but I am not so sure there is really demand there, " S&P Capital IQ analyst Scott Kessler says.
The new Twitter feature allows users to remove payment information from their account if they don't want their personal data saved.