Will @Amex help Twitter to make #money?
American Express is rolling out a micro-payment system to the social network
It’s the perennial problem with new social-media companies. How do the brains behind them get anything more than plaudits and maybe the odd OBE for their troubles? How can you turn a platform of influence – a virtual soapbox – into a money-spinner? Man cannot live on plaudits alone.
Certainly Twitter co-founder and chief Jack Dorsey has been clear about his wish to monetarise the microblogging site he launched in 2006. In its infancy it was quite sniffy about advertising, permitting any at all only in 2010.
Of late, though, many had assumed that was the way the site would go: becoming a giant billboard, with promoted tweets and trends the means to draw the bucks. Dorsey said as much at this year’s DLD tech conference: “The market has vetted [our strategy] and confirmed that they want to keep using it.”
Now, though, it seems Twitter won’t so much be a billboard as a shopping mall. American Express users on the site will, as of this week, be able to buy products by using a specific hashtag in tweets.
The @AmexSync account will then tweet back with a confirmation hashtag. Then you retweet that, AmEx will ping you a confirmation email, along with a 15-minute window in which to confirm the purchase of that 48in TV was yours. Your card is then charged and the goods are delivered to your billing address.
There was only a single product available on Monday: a $25 American Express gift card reduced to $15. Though more was promised for this morning.
The system is a double whammy of a money-spinner. Brands taking part raise revenue directly from sales, while also marketing their product with each hashtagged tweet. “This really is a step in a new direction for social media,” says Neil Saunders, managing director of Conlumino, a retail research agency. “It allows it to act as a conduit for payment and it is incredibly simple and straightforward to use a hashtag, which everyone is familiar with. The next step will likely be that they let people use it to move money between each other, too.”
Whether the devoted and vocal Twitterati will like their medium’s slow transformation from soapbox to billboard to full-on shopping mall remains to be tweeted.
Life & Style blogs
Britain's kitchens so filthy that they present a health risk, says new research
Fashion Revolution Day: wear your clothes inside out and ask #whomademyclothes to support worker welfare
The world's first edible garden of cake
KickassTorrents down: new Isle of Man domain taken offline just hours after launch
How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...