I Love Twitter's Buy Button. I Hate Twitter's Buy Button.

Re/code recently shared a few mockups of a rumored new Twitter “Buy now” button, which was apparently leaked by shopping app Fancy.

It’s not clear whether this was leaked on purpose, but it’s highly likely it was a mistake. What is a little clearer is that this in-tweet functionality would only come directly from Twitter, so in other words Fancy was in all likelihood a beta tester for this new service.

So what do I think of it? I love it and I hate it at the same time.

I hate it because at its core, it is diametrically opposed to the idea of people connecting with people; what I would call “non-media.” Twitter should not be considered to be a media platform -- and yet, as a public company, it has no choice but to figure out how to “monetize” through interruptive and unimaginative paid media and now twee-commerce™ (I just trademarked it -- not really).



How long before Twitter truly jumps the shark and becomes nothing more than a place to shriek (messages) and shill (products)?

Still, isn’t it time we take some responsibility and accountability for all the free sh....tuff out there, and demonstrate proven ROI?

Strategically, Twitter is undiluted social serendipity -- and for this reason, it represents the ultimate impulse purchase platform. Especially when one-click-buying (or wait, that’s trademarked) is one tweet away.

If you’ve ever used the Fab, Fancy or Etsy app -- or really any shopping app -- you know it’s very hard to resist shopping trigger finger. It’s not hard at all to rack up a hefty basket size based on the ease of use, user experience and seamless checkout process.

Twitter isn’t necessarily that different, although it is a significantly less visual experience.

Surely then, the “Buy Now” button is the next iteration of a very powerful social platform maturing and mainstreaming into a formidable commerce engine. With a user’s verified profile and billing and shipping information securely stored (yeah, right), commerce should be as simple as age verification on Facebook.

With “Buy now” sparingly and respectively rolled out (a big assumption I know) matched to carefully curated commerce vendors, user experience can be protected, preserved and even enhanced. After all, anything that minimizes clicks will similarly maximize conversions by saving time, frustration and unnecessary steps.

And how long before we see “square-like” functionality, allowing JESS3 to monetize one of its infographics, or Bob Knorpp his podcasts?

Personally, I’d prefer things to stay as they are. I’m an idealist and purist who feels that the United Nations should acquire Twitter -- not Google or Facebook.

That said, I wouldn’t mind the occasional exception to the norm -- like, for example, the ability to purchase my book “Z.E.R.O.” directly from a tweet.

That last comment was a joke. Sort of.

5 comments about "I Love Twitter's Buy Button. I Hate Twitter's Buy Button.".
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  1. Lisa Gangadeen from The 33480 Group LLC, July 8, 2014 at 12:01 p.m.

    Love is too strong of a feeling but for the record, #The33480Group does like it!

    -Lisa Gangadeen, President & Owner, The 33480 Group LLC

  2. Steven Osborne from Osborne pike, July 8, 2014 at 12:16 p.m.

    As an idealist and purist who feels that the UN should acquire Twitter, you must feel the pain of those of us who don't mind paying a licence fee, so that the BBC doesn't have to interrupt this programme to bring you these messages.

    Hmm, 'The Buy Button', there's a book in that...

  3. Joseph Jaffe from Alpha Collective, July 8, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.

    @Lisa - Like is reserved for Facebook :)

  4. Joseph Jaffe from Alpha Collective, July 8, 2014 at 1:54 p.m.

    @Steven - you're clearly a little too witty for me (I appreciate the irony). So for the less gifted, can you clarify what you're saying? Is it that a) you would pay for Twitter? b) you don't mind a buy button v interruptive advertising? The BBC licensing model is an anomaly today based more on a governmental soft spot and tradition and hardly compares to the progress of a Sky business model for example. Unless of course it's the UN stepping in and subsidizing a nominal usage fee. And as for your book idea, great suggestion. I will dedicate it to you!

  5. Kenneth Hittel from Ken Hittel, July 8, 2014 at 4:05 p.m.

    Joseph, a few points: Interruptive messaging does not HAVE to be "unimaginative," although I grant that is usually has been and is. Still...
    Second, how "undiluted" (from e-commerce?) does TWTR have to continue to be to still remain "socially serendipitous." I'd suggest this is not like being pregnant -- you are or you aren't -- and that a little muddy -- but, one hopes, imaginative! -- e-commerce won't kill the goose that laid the golden (or at least brass) egg.
    Third, is it still not up to us as "users" to help maintain TWTR's social serendipity & salubriousness? Are we so knee-deep in such sites that we can or should abandon TWTR when we see a couple Buy Now buttons? Or a couple dozen? I suppose there is a magic number here where commerce begins to outweigh social serendipity, and that that number is variable individual by individual -- lord knows what that (those numbers) will be.
    (And I don't doubt the possibility. I left FB years ago when the costs began to outweigh my pleasures there, so I can imagine that happening to me for TWTR.)
    Lastly, just on a purely personal note -- I'm beginning to see TWTR as a strongly "visual experience," and I'm becoming increasingly annoyed by it. Am I just following a peculiarly visual bunch of people? Odd if that's the case, since I'm a real text-based guy and a visual dolt (or so I've been told).
    In any case, let's hope your "big assumption" is exactly how e-commerce rolls out on TWTR...

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