It seems nearly all social media platforms are offering some level of social commerce capabilities, from Facebook and Instagram, to Pinterest and TikTok. Twitter is working hard to catch up after nixing their “Buy” button back in 2017, and has announced a host of new features that will help it establish a bigger presence in the growing social shopping marketplace.
“Shop” Button on Tweets
It’s no surprise that Twitter is racing to release their own ecommerce capabilities. According to eMarketer, the number of US social commerce buyers accelerated 25.2% to 80.1 million in 2020, and is estimated to grow another 12.9% to 90.4 million people in 2021. That’s a lot of money left on the table.
In early March, Twitter started adding a “Shop” button to the bottom of certain tweets. The Shop button was linked to product pages from the brands or retailers. These shoppable tweets are not Twitter ads, but organic tweets published by users.
The New Twitter Shopping Card
Twitter also created an ecommerce-friendly Shopping Card for interested buyers and brands.
Traditionally, a Twitter Card allows you to drive engagement to your website by creating a Twitter-friendly preview with rich media, like photos or videos.
The new Shopping Card, however, includes the following additional information:
- Product name
- Shop name
- Product price
- Product/brand image
- “Shop” button
Interested users can then click on the Shop button, which will take them directly to the product landing page.
“Twitter’s expansion of their eCommerce capabilities provides significant opportunities to advertisers who are looking to expand their social footprint and reach new audiences ahead of the 2021 holiday season. Holiday competition paired with the impacts of iOS 14, and the recently released iOS 15, will lead to increased costs on the more established ecommerce social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest, resulting in Twitter becoming a strong option to efficiently target new audiences. Advertisers would be wise to begin quickly testing these capabilities to guide both their holiday and 2022 strategies.”
— Baber Ghaznavi, Paid Social Strategist at Tinuiti
Twitter Shop Module
You may not have seen the Shop Module during your own Twitter adventures just yet—Twitter notes they are “starting small with a handful of brands in the United States”—but the exciting pilot was officially launched in late July 2021.
“The Shop Module is a dedicated space at the top of a profile where businesses can showcase their products. When people visit a profile with the Shop Module enabled, they can scroll through the carousel of products and tap through on a single product to learn more and purchase — seamlessly in an in-app browser, without having to leave Twitter.”
Twitter added further context around the launch of Shop Module as it relates to another launch months prior, Professional Profiles.
“While the Shop Module is a step in better-supporting shopping on Twitter, it also builds upon our efforts around Professional Profiles, which we started introducing earlier this year. With modular components for Professional Profiles, businesses across the globe – from small businesses and legacy brands to creator-founded businesses – will have access to customized profiles with features intended to help drive engagement and business outcomes.”
Twitter shared with TechCrunch that businesses will be required to have a Professional Profile if they wish to utilize Shop Module.
More Recent Updates from Twitter
Twitter Blue Subscription Service
Twitter recently launched a subscription service called “Twitter Blue,” priced at $2.99 USD per month. Twitter Blue offers subscribers premium, highly requested features, including Undo Tweets and folders. While Twitter is confirmed to be working on other features as part of an effort to expand paid services, it is unsure whether they will be part of Twitter Blue.
Image Quality Enhancements
In response to feedback from artists and creatives, Twitter is now testing improved feed image previews, as well as reducing the number of cropped photos.
Single-image tweets that have been posted in standard aspect ratios will no longer be cropped. The composer tool will also reflect exactly how the image will appear on the timeline. Excessively tall or wide aspect ratios, however, will still be center-cropped.
Twitter is also considering ways to allow users to upload and view 4k images on their phones.
Twitter Super Follow
Twitter has announced a new paid subscription service called Super Follow. Super Follow will be similar in format to Patreon, and will allow users deeper access into their favorite accounts, including subscriber-exclusive content and newsletters.
A Super Follow subscription is predicted to cost $4.99 USD a month, and users can cancel at any time.
Tweets Can Now Be Shared on Instagram and Snapchat
In order to make Twitter more accessible to a broader set of users, Twitter is now testing a function that allows users to share tweets on Snapchat and Instagram.
Tweet Share menus now have the option to add tweets to Snap Camera and Instagram Stories. These reposts will link back to the original post on Twitter.
Tweet Undo Button
Twitter is now testing an Undo button that allows users to unsend tweets.
This oft-demanded feature is part of Twitter’s exploration into paid and subscription content, and will presumably continue to only be available to Twitter Blue subscribers.
Twitter Tip Jar
Twitter now lets users get paid for their Tweets! In Spring of 2021, Twitter announced a “Tip Jar” feature that lets other users tip you without having to leave the app.
The Tip Jar feature is currently being tested by a select group of users, which include celebrities, journalists, and non-profit organizations. Participating users would be able to link their Tip Jars to payment platforms such as PayPal, Patreon, and Venmo. Twitter will not be taking any portion of the tip amount.
Twitter “Tomorrow” Weather Service
A new weather reporting feature called “Tomorrow” is currently being launched as part of Twitter’s paid services program.
Heading this new service is Eric Holthaus, a veteran climate journalist and meteorologist. The Tomorrow team will create both short-form and long-form content for subscribers, as well as newsletters.
The service has already launched and is available in 16 cities across North America.