Twitter today introduced a new shopping feature called Twitter Shops, which allows merchants to curate a collection of up to 50 products to showcase on their Twitter profile. The mobile-first feature, which is free to use, aims to encourage users to move from talking about products on the Twitter platform to actually clicking through to browse the merchant’s selection and then finish. to calculate.

However, unlike Instagram’s original Shops, these transactions do not take place on Twitter itself. Instead, users first click the “View Store” button above the merchant’s tweets to visit their store. When the customer is ready to make a purchase, they click on the item to be redirected to the merchant’s website to complete the transaction. This experience takes place in an in-app browser, similar to how TikTok’s new shopping features work.

The feature is free to use and Twitter is not currently monetizing the new product during testing, we’re told.

Image Credits: Twitter

Twitter Shops is built on other e-commerce efforts the company has made in recent months.

Last summer, Twitter kicked off a US e-commerce pilot that allows users to browse products from a “Store Module” at the top of the merchant’s profile. However, this module offers up to five products for users to browse. The new Twitter Shops allow merchants to display a larger catalog which they can upload via a CSV file.

The file can contain up to 10,000 products, including their name, description, price and other details, so that the trader can easily rotate the selection of the 50 products shown on his profile over time.

In addition to the shopping modules, Twitter started testing a new livestream shopping platform last November, with Walmart being the first beta tester. Twitter says Walmart saw more than 2 million views during the livestreamed event, but did not disclose the extent to which that led to conversions. Live Shopping has since rolled out to other managed partners, including food delivery brand Gopuff and Samsung.

The new Twitter Shops, plus the Shop Module and Live Shopping feature, are housed in Twitter’s Shopping Manager, an access point where merchants can set up and manage the available shopping features. This Shopping Manager is now available to Twitter’s managed partners, the company notes.

Image Credits: Twitter

At launch, the Twitter stores in the US will be tested in English with hundreds of brands, including @Verizon@ArdenCove@LatinxInPower@GayPrideApp and @AllIDoIsCookUS† The company plans to recruit and onboard other vendors and managed partners as beta participants in the future.

The ecommerce expansion follows a period when Twitter has been rolling out new features at an almost ridiculously fast pace. Over the past year, Twitter has launched a suite of creator tools (Super Follows), a subscription product for power users (Twitter Blue), newsletters (Revue), NFT avatars, in-app gratuities, live audio (Twitter Spaces), and more. But there has been some criticism that these efforts, aimed at finding new ways to generate platform revenue, distract from the more critical work that needs to be done in areas related to the spread of misinformation and propaganda — areas that more important than ever in the midst of the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Another challenge for Twitter’s e-commerce efforts relates to how the social network is perceived by end users. It’s not clear that many Twitter users see it as a place to discover products, given the still-heavy text. (Twitter has ditched other efforts over the years that could have added more video to its site, including live video platform Periscope and short video platform and TikTok precursor Vine.)

Meanwhile, today’s online users often shop on social media via photos and videos on Instagram, and increasingly via videos on TikTok. In particular, the viral nature of TikTok’s trends may encourage more spontaneous purchases, with TikTok telling its creators at an event last month that 48% of users at some point immediately bought a product after seeing it on the platform, and 67% bought it. even if they weren’t looking to shop.

Twitter obviously wants some of that action too, but its rivals like TikTok aren’t making online shopping a feature that’s just touched upon, but rather a feature that’s a natural extension of the accidental discovery the platform already offers through its immersive video and personalized feed at home.

At launch, Twitter Shops will only be available to Twitter on iPhone users for now.

This post Twitter expands ecommerce efforts with launch of mobile storefronts, Twitter Shops – TechCrunch

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