Twitter is making headlines by doing something that a lot of social networks have tried (and mostly failed) and that’s open up shop. Artists can now sell their merchandise through Twitter, which sounds like a great idea when you consider a lot of celebrities have well over a million followers each. What this means for the average, non-celebrity user is anybody’s guess, as it’s still too early to tell. With users feel exposed or persuaded by these new opportunities to pitch sales?
It seems as if some users have found this to be a great thing. Radwan Mah of Great News Magazine reports, “The store is a considerably interesting project, to say the least. At the moment, Twitter does not take a percentage of the sales, much like Amazon, eBay and Etsy are prone to do. Instead, it’s (currently) a free feature to use by Twitter affiliates with something to sell.”
That’s where non-celebrities will feel part of the crowd. They’ll presumably be allowed to sell their own merchandise too, beating out competition in craft websites such as Etsy and even eBay.
Karen Regpala of Ecumenical News reports, “As of now, Twitter has already collaborated with 41 big product names including Nike and Disney, as well as with celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Demi Lovato.” In essence, it’s a growing concept. Regpala also notes that this announcement has come shortly after Twitter experiencing a crazy year: “After a major revamp in its management, a significant dip during its first quarter returns and a bleak outcome for the second quarter, this updated feature of Twitter may just be what the company needs.”
It’s important to wonder whether Twitter is doing this as a remarkably insightful business venture, or are they simply grasping at straws at the zero hour. While Twitter may not have had the best quarter, their usability and growth in the media has surely remained an impact. It isn’t as if the microblogging network will be going anywhere soon.
Don’t forget, Twitter is accessed on a lot of various platforms, including personal computers, smartphones, tablets and even some e-readers. This multi-level dimension of consumerism of networking is now transgressing into a wide access point for various merchandising opportunities.
The only real mystery is why Twitter didn’t come up with this idea much sooner.
Radwan Mah also mentions the accessibility being an enormous benefit to Twitter’s newest feature: “The e-shops are available through the main desktop Twitter page, or the Android and Apple apps, for easy, one-click availability. Of course, time will tell if the average Twitter user will be in any way interested in what Twitter has to offer beyond rapid news, discussions and the occasional joke.” Twitter is certainly growing.
It’s used as a reliable source to news outlets whenever they want to gather public feedback on breaking stories. Celebrities use it to promote their latest movie or concert. It’s a fascinating shift to see the entire thing come into a new venture. It’s safe to say there won’t be much resistance to this new feature, although the temptation of spur of the moment purchases could be crippling to one’s own wallet.
Ariel M. Scott of Business Financial News reminds us of Twitter’s own history of attempting to allow users to purchase items through its service: “This is not Twitter’s first time experimenting with online shopping. Its previous attempt was restricted to promotional tweets that included a buy button for a single item. Learning from its mistakes, the new Product and Collection pages will take advantage of Twitter’s extensive user data base (about services and products) and focus on collection information required by potential buyers.”
This new effort is certainly a change of pace. Users don’t have to be exposed to the shops if they don’t want to, whereas before, the promotional tweets would be in your feed unless you specifically blocked each one. Now, with this new feature ahead, you must specifically click on the Collections tab on each profile.
Twitter has also provided a conclusive list of all of the shops, so that you don’t have to go to any particular Twitter profiles, hoping to find a store.
Some may have concerns that Twitter is “selling out” or losing its focus. However, as Matt Kapko of CIO reports, “J Barbush, vice president and creative social media director at advertising agency RPA, says Twitter’s product pages are an effective way to retain the charm and creative restraints of the service’s 140-character limit while keeping users on Twitter in search of more information.”
Ultimately, Twitter’s goal appears to be less of a reinvention but more of an extension of the services they provide. With enough resources and groundbreaking insight, this new shop concept could significantly impact the way consumers network and shop—by combining the two. If anything, the whole experience becomes that much easier.