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
Scientists develop blood test that could diagnose depression
Android One handsets launch in India: £65 apiece with cricket scores baked in
Students in the south east of England gain the most weight in their first year
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
- 5 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Manager - Near...
£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Senior ...