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Twitter 'buy now' button wants to get at your wallet

James Temperton
8 Sep 2014
Twitter buy now button
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Twitter will add big Buy Now button into timelines as it tries to make more money out of users

Twitter is to shoehorn in a BUY NOW button to try and trick people into spending money while spouting abuse at celebrities and complaining about things. 

The social network, which has been experimenting with new ways to make money from users, will launch the 'buy now' button as a limited trial alongside companies like Burberry and evergreen rapper Eminem. The new feature will be trialled on the Android and iOS Twitter apps, the company said.

Working with payments start-up Stripe, Twitter will add a button to let people to pay by tweet rather than entering their card details every time. Twitter has previously experimented on promotional and advertising projects with Amazon, American Express and Starbucks. In these trials Twitter users could send voucher codes to others by tweeting promotional hashtags.

Twitter product manager Tarun Jain said the new 'buy now' button would make buying things "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," he said.

A purchase can be completed in "just a few taps" and once payment information has been added once it doesn't need adding again. Most of the early trial accounts are either artists, brands or nonprofits, with Twitter saying more would be added in the coming weeks.

It isn't yet clear how Twitter will make money through the 'buy now' button, but it is likely it will take a cut of sales and or charge advertisers based on a tiered system similar to promoted tweets. The initial trial will be US-only, before expanding internationally.

Revenues at Twitter have been on the rise but the company still lags way behind Google and Facebook when it comes to online advertising spend.

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