Twitter Experiments With New e-Commerce Feature

E-commerce is exploding among many social media platforms.

Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Twitter tests new e-commerce features for tweets

Twitter has announced some long-term plans to both increase revenue and hone in on user growth. The company plans to double its annual revenue from $3.7 billion back in 2020 to over $7.5 billion in 2023. It also plans to hit at least 315 million mDAUs or “monetizable daily active usage” (a metric Twitter has devised) in the fourth quarter for the year 2023.

Another feature that Twitter has been testing is tweets that include a link to e-Commerce product pages. With the introduction of a “new Twitter card format”, the company is examining tweets that include a large “Shop” button. Product details such as its product name, product pricing, and shop name will be incorporated into the tweet as well. 

Twitter As The “Discovery Network For e-Commerce Products”

There is no doubt that e-Commerce is enjoying an explosive, meteoric rise. It almost seems like everything now is “shoppable”. Whether a video is featuring an item via Instagram or TikTok or it’s posted as an image on Facebook, purchasing such products is now just a click away. 

During its Analyst Day presentation, Twitter announced their new e-Commerce option that includes a Twitter card that displays a prominent “Shop” call to action button. This button is linked to a transaction page. 

Twitter has made it clear that this feature is still in the very early stages of development and therefore may not be reflected in this way in the final launch. However, they are hard at work in developing new tools, paving the way for new opportunities. 

Bruce Falck, Twitter’s Revenue Product Lead, had this to say:

“We know people come to Twitter to interact with brands and discuss their favorite products. In fact, you may have even noticed some businesses already developing creative ways to enable sales on our platform. This demand gives us confidence in the power of combining real-time conversation with an engaged and intentional audience. Imagine easily discovering, and quickly purchasing a new skincare product or trendy sneaker from a brand you follow with only a few clicks.”

Twitter is following the ranks of the heavy-hitting social media giants such as Facebook, who has heavily invested in shopping features, as well as Instagram and WhatsApp with their “video-based shopping.” 

Video has become increasingly popular, especially with live streamed product demos and “short-form videos” that have been pre-recorded and then featured on TikTok.

Contrarily, Twitter has considerably scaled down its video capabilities over the past few years, especially with the closing of Vine and more recently, Periscope. However, Twitter still has plenty of tools to make shopping more appealing within its platform. Its current integrated tools allows users to post videos, photos, and even live video content.  

Twitter’s new Twitter Card is offering just a glimpse of what is yet to come. This announcement has also revealed that Twitter has quite a few e-Commerce related capabilities in the works. They do admit that this is one of many “experiments in the commerce space.” As they learn more, they hope to keep these ideas and concepts evolving as they learn more. 

The Future Monetization Of Twitter

Twitter is hard at work, aiming to attract and increase usage on its platform. Revenue growth will be largely dependent on diversification that goes beyond advertising. Twitter has mentioned plans of launching a subscription product that is set to be unveiled in 2021. It also plans to look into other methods of monetization, including “paid consumer-facing features” and tipping.