You Might Want to Hone Your Sales Pitch to 140 Characters
BY Laura Montini
Twitter is said to be nailing down a deal with payments startup Stripe, which could mean Twitter could become a full-fledged e-commerce tool for businesses.
Most social media experts will tell you that Twitter isn't a vehicle for selling; it's for the more nebulous and harder-to-measure task of "brand building." Well, that may change very soon.
According to a Re/code story citing an unnamed source, Twitter is about to strike a deal with payments startup Stripe that will let people buy things directly from the social network.
Since neither Twitter nor Stripe would confirm the deal to Re/Code (Inc. has reached out to both companies as well for comment), the details on how exactly a deal like this would work are scarce. But one can assume incorporating Stripe's technology into Twitter might mean your Tweets could bring your customers one step closer to actually buying something from you. That could be a big deal to e-commerce companies that up until now have mostly Tweeted coupons, clever 140-character marketing slogans, and the like.
Twitter has experimented with e-commerce features in the past. For example, last year American Express cardholders could link their credit cards to Twitter in order to buy an Xbox, Kindle, or American Express gift card right on the Twitter app.
Stripe is a mobile payment company backed with $40 million in investments from Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst and others. It currently serves ride-sharing startup Lyft and e-commerce store platform Shopify.
As Re/code points out, Twitter hasn't always stuck with its previous e-commerce products. Could this be the feature that sticks? More news to come.
LAURA MONTINI is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco. @lmmontini