Facebook and Twitter enter the ecommerce world with the "Buy now" button
It appears that the line between social media and ecommerce is becoming blurred. Facebook and Twitter's recent entries into the ecommerce world offer huge potential for online retailers to tap into a new level of impulse buying.
Twitter recently introduced tests of a "Buy" button which enables its users to make purchases inside the Twitter mobile app in a simple couple-of-clicks transaction.
San Francisco-based payments startup Stripe is powering the technology behind the embedded purchasing feature and it is rumoured that it is also behind Facebook's "Buy" button, which the social network announced it was testing back in July 2014.
In a blog post announcing the move Facebook wrote "With this feature, people on desktop or mobile can click the 'Buy' call-to-action button on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook,".
Example: The Facebook Buy Button
So far the functionality is limited to a pilot on desktop and mobile versions of Facebook for a small number of SME retailers.
Tech commentary website Recode suggests "it's possible that Facebook could team up with other payment services in the future (it did just hire David Marcus, the ex-PayPal president), but for now, Stripe and Stripe alone is behind both in-feed purchasing services."
It is unclear what the business model will be but Facebook and Twitter don't appear take a percentage of sales yet. The new ecommerce element could attract advertisers who want a definitive ROI from their social media efforts rather than likes and followers. Perhaps it is this extra advertising which is driving the networks to enter the ecommerce market?
So far there is no consensus on when either Twitter or Facebook's "Buy" buttons will become available to the masses, but we expect 2015 to be a very interesting year for ecommerce on social networks.
Example: The Twitter Buy Button