Twitter May Add E-Commerce Options

Published on March 5, 2021

Twitter could be the next social media company migrating toward more integration with e-commerce businesses. The company appears to have added a new card and button to some tweets that contain links to product pages. The call to action button, which was first reported by Matt Navarra on Twitter, instructs users to click on a shopping page through a bright blue button that integrates within the feed.

The new button, should it be widely implemented, represents a greater shift toward e-commerce for Twitter as other apps like Instagram have shifted toward e-commerce over the last year. Twitter has never outright said that its platform isn’t geared toward advertising, but it just isn’t used to market products in the same ways that Instagram and TikTok have been in the past.

That is to say, Twitter doesn’t function like a giant shopping mall in the way that Instagram does (though, if you spend any time on Twitter, you know the platform isn’t without its own level of toxicity). Instagram expanded on its e-commerce features late last year. When it replaced its notifications tab with a shopping tab it solidified that its future is in e-commerce, and although users complained that the new feature felt predatory, small business owners pointed out that the tab gives them added visibility over the already frustrating feed algorithm.

Brands are welcome to use Twitter, but since the purpose of the platform is to create discussion-based content it means that it’s harder for brands to stand out. Users can upload photos, but the platform isn’t geared toward photo advertising quite like Instagram, so brands are often left using Twitter for customer service or to create a brand personality. Twitter users are also pretty bored with brands that try to emulate what many call weird Twitter—meaning brands that use the platform like they’re everyday people and not a corporate entity.

It doesn’t appear that Twitter is migrating toward becoming an e-commerce platform quite as much as Instagram has in recent months, but a shopping button could give brands and retailers added visibility to grab user attention during scrolling. The size and color of the button is attention grabbing, and there is some psychology behind why call to action buttons are more successful at increasing interactions than standard links.

Twitter did not immediately respond to Grit Daily’s request for comment or confirmation, though we’ll update the piece with a response should it come later.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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