The rumors are true and confirmed: Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) is launching a “buy now” button to enable users to buy things from artists and retailers immediately within the social network.
The button will only be available to a few entities at the outset – these mostly include musicians such as Ryan Adams, Brad Paisley and Megadeth, but it also extends to brands like Home Depot and Burberry.
Twitter’s commerce partners are social-shopping site Fancy, a monetization platform for creative called Gumroad, direct-to-fan e-commerce site Musictoday and payments company Stripe. These various efforts and technologies will be recombined into Twitter such that “an entire purchase can be completed in just a few taps.” The terms of service for how it all works can be found here.
Former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard, who joined Twitter last year as head of commerce, told Mashable in an interview: "In some capacity, we’ve been working on [the buy now button] since day one that I’ve been here. I think you've seen us do a lot very quietly over the past year that informs where we are today."
So why is Twitter throwing its hat into the e-commerce ring? Probably because it's uniquely positioned to grab a chunk of the $304.1 billion that consumers will spend online this year, $57.79 billion of that spent from a mobile device, according to eMarketer. From Mashable:
"There is a real-time component to Twitter that isn't replicated anywhere else. I think that lends itself to items with a temporal component ... or anything with urgency," Hubbard says. Translation: Twitter sees itself as a powerful platform for more spontaneous purchases and limited-time offers.