Twitter appears to be testing a new feature that will let users buy items directly through links embedded in retailers’ tweets.
Yesterday, Re/code reported seeing “Buy Now” links embedded in tweets from shopping app Fancy. The links were no longer visible today, suggesting the feature may have accidentally been turned on for a period of time before being taken down again.
Although one user said the Buy Now buttons took them to a checkout page inside of the Twitter app, Re/code said the buttons did not work when it tried to click through. The buttons were visible on mobile, but not on Twitter's desktop interface, according to the report.
In screenshots, a picture of the merchandise appears with a description and price next to the merchant’s name. In one image, a Nest Learning Thermostat is priced at $250 million, confirming the feature is still very much a mock-up.
Twitter and Fancy did not immediately return Entrepreneur.com's request for comment.
The new move would mark a first for Twitter, which is already being used as an e-commerce tool by other companies. Earlier this year, Amazon found a way to sell directly to Twitter users by launching the #AmazonCart hashtag, which allows users to add items to their Amazon shopping carts through tweets. The Amazon feature, however, still does not allow users to check out through Twitter.
Twitter doesn’t earn any revenue from #AmazonCart as it does from sponsored tweets but it's unclear what the revenue sharing terms will be for a new feature like the Buy Now button. The new function, however, could allow users to make purchases from inside of Twitter without broadcasting what they’re buying to all of their followers.
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