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Twitter starts testing Buy button feature for in-app purchases

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Twitter has started testing a ‘Buy’ button feature that will allow users to discover products and offers and directly make purchases from within the Twitter app. Clicking on the Buy button will provide users further product details and the option to enter shipping and payment details, followed by an order confirmation. Currently, this feature is only available on Twitter’s Android and iOS apps.

It’s worth noting that Twitter first started experimenting with ‘Buy Now’ cards that allowed users to buy a product without leaving the app, in July this year. In May this year, Twitter partnered Amazon to introduce the #AmazonCart service. It allowed Twitter users to add any product on Amazon’s Twitter feed to their Shopping Cart, and buy it later at a convenient time. In July the service was launched in India as well.

For the initial phase of this monetization strategy Twitter has partnered with curated product discovery and purchase site Fancy, payment solutions company with support for single click payments Stripe, online payment solutions provider Gumroad and merchandising and ticketing e-commerce site Musictoday. A small group of brands, artists and non-profit organizations have been provided access to the ‘Buy’ button feature during the testing phase, including brands like Burberry, (RED), and The Home Depot, and artists like Eminem, Demi Lovato and Pharrell Williams.

The ‘Buy’ button will essentially function like a mobile wallet. Once the payment and shipping information is entered, it will be stored by Twitter so users don’t have to reenter it every time. Twitter claims to have focused greatly on security and all user details will be encrypted. Read more about it here. There might be an issue if it is used to buy products in India from Indian merchants. More on that here.

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Twitter’s monetization efforts

– Last month, Twitter introduced its Promoted Video platform, which the company had begun testing back in March in partnership with the NBA. This feature is aimed at advertisers and content creators looking to distribute video content through its platform. This feature built upon the Twitter Amplify program, which was released in India with cricket content from Star Sports.

– It’s worth noting that mobile advertising accounted for 81% of Twitter’s total ad revenues in Q4-FY14. Mobile advertising revenue for the quarter was $224.4 million. In the previous quarter it accounted for 80% of Twitter’s ad revenues, and 75% in the quarter before that.

Twitter has been under pressure to monetize its platform for some time now. This presents an ideal opportunity for the microblogging site to enable e-commerce on its platform. Incidentally, in July 2014 Facebook started testing a similar Buy button feature on its platform as well.

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