Twitter Introduces Shopping Feature That Shows Serious Promise

Your online shopping addiction is about to get so much worse — or better, depending on how you look at it. Twitter introduced a shopping feature, and 41 brands, from Goop to Mountain Dew, are already on board, creating curated "Collections," as Twitter is calling them, aimed at loosening digital purse strings.

Each collection functions as a real-time, dynamic storefront of sorts, that, like most Twitter timelines, features newest additions on top. Unlike most e-commerce experiences that are usually super on-brand, Twitter's product pages are seriously social; in addition to the item, you can browse tweets and reviews about the product, as well. There's no cart or checkout functionality yet, so in lieu of a "Buy" or "Add to cart" button, a "Go There" button links out to an external site, like Amazon, where the transaction is completed.

Twitter users can embed any collection onto personal or company websites, essentially offering up a new way for anyone with a URL — like bloggers — the chance to monetize.

Best of all? In addition to shopping Gwyneth-approved goodies via social media, anyone with a Twitter account can log into Tweet Deck and create their own collections.

Just like that, the student becomes the buyer/curator/creative director.


The new functionality shows promise, but could still use a little streamlining, IMO. Namely, not every brand or tastemaker that has a collection is set up for sales directly on Twitter. From the moment you decide you want something to that satisfying (or scary, in an "OMG my accountant is going to kill me" kind of way) moment you see a confirmation flash across the screen, you could be strung along through several tabs and windows before reaching checkout.

For example, I saw a sick pair of Karen Walker sunglasses in Goop's Collection that piqued my interest. I clicked the image, which has a "Page" banner on the bottom left corner, letting me know that I'll be redirected. It opened in a new tab, where I could see the price and tweets about the glasses.

Okay, I gotta have 'em, I thought to myself. I clicked "Go There," and a third tab opened up, taking me to Goop's website. Three tabs to buy a pair of sunglasses? That isn't exactly the seamless experience that I'd expect from Twitter or Goop, or really any website that isn't selling holistic vitamins out of a cabin in Wyoming.

When an item is for sale directly on Twitter, though, checkout is completed in a sleek little pop-up that rivals many bulky online boutique carts. (The only "Buy Now"–enabled product on Twitter that I've come across so far is a book called The Martian by Andy Weir.)

It seems like this is an issue between the brands and Twitter (perhaps they're still hammering out revenue share agreements?) rather than a lack of functionality provided by the social platform. It is worth noting that, for now, Twitter isn’t making money off the products sold through the Collections, although brands can pay to post promoted content if they choose.

Twitter shared this list of accounts that have covetable Collections today on its blog. “This is just the beginning," the blog post revealed. "In the coming months we’ll be testing more new experiences we hope give you the most personalized and relevant information about the places and things you want to explore.”

Personally, I can't wait to see what my fave celebs are posting about, and I'm dying to try my hand at a Collection myself. Luckily, I already have my CC number memorized.

Image: Screenshot