It’s important to note that the idea of purchases, over social media, isn’t anything new. In fact, a few months ago, Facebook tested out a “Buy” button on not only computers but mobile platforms as well. Facebook spoke about privacy – a tremendous issue for many people who make purchases online – and how this function was built around said privacy. As a result, it wouldn’t have been long until its de facto rival, Twitter, would instate its own ecommerce system.
Twitter the New Ecommerce Platform
This past Monday, Twitter announced that it would be embedding a “Buy” button into tweets. The functionality behind said button is relatively simple: when a Twitter user clicks on it, they will be prompted to enter their shipping details and method of payment, whether it’s credit, debit, or what have you. While this feature has been made available to a select few beforehand, it seems like more and more people will get to experience this. Twitter will also keep the information so that any future payments can be made without having to re-enter details over and over again.
To say that I have mixed feelings about this story would be nothing short of an understatement.
On one hand, I understand the appeal that comes from making purchases on social media. Think about it: how many people, on average, use websites like Twitter on a daily basis? One can make the argument that these websites are the only ones which are kept open on computers, smartphones and the like from day to day without ever being closed. The idea of making purchases on social media, then, is one that makes sense.
What makes me uneasy, though, is the idea of Twitter storing financial information for future purchases. From a convenience standpoint, I can see why this strategy would be implemented. However, one has to take into account the risk of Twitter being hacked. Think about the sheer amount of personal details on the social media website already: real names, locations, and possibly even contact information if it’s made visible. Out of all of the details surrounding Twitter’s “Buy” button, the retaining of financial information is the one that left me uneasy.
I’m not entirely sure if Twitter will allow for an option to not store financial information, which is what I feel would be for the best. To illustrate this point, I typically purchase content off of Nintendo’s eShop for my Wii U. Whenever I put in my credit card information, I am prompted by Nintendo to store said information but I’m not required to do so. Other companies have a similar system in place, which I believe is best for the sake of personal freedom.
My concerns aside, I’m interested to see where this option goes from here and how it’ll benefit Twitter. Just as importantly, I have to ask the question, “How will it benefit brands?” From my point of view, this gives the general public more freedom when it comes to the companies they do business with. If their products are attractive, on Twitter, they will be purchased, thereby incentivizing the companies to stay on the social media channel and continue business this way. While I may have my doubts about Twitter’s “Buy” button, my level of genuine intrigue is just as strong.
So, what do you think about Twitter the new ecommerce platform? What is your take on Twitter’s “Buy” option, though? Positive or negative, leave your thoughts on this news below.
See also: Twitter to Introduce New “Mute” Feature