Twitter Buys CardSpring, Ups Ecommerce

There is still no word on when Twitter plans to launch its “Buy now” button -- sightings of which have been reported for weeks. In the meantime, the micro-blogging leader is ramping up its ecommerce efforts with the acquisition of CardSpring.

Founded in 2011, CardSpring is a payments infrastructure start-up that helps merchants work with publishers to create online-to-offline promotions, according to Nathan Hubbard, Head of Commerce at Twitter. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With CardSpring’s help, consumers can easily redeem deals they rack up online simply by swiping their credit cards at a physical point of purchase. CardSpring fits nicely into Twitter’s philosophy “regarding the best ways to bring in-the-moment commerce experiences to our users,” Hubbard explained in a blog post this week.

Along with such card-linked offers, CardSpring powers CardSpring Connect -- a commerce analytics system connected to merchants' existing in-store point of sale systems. With Connect, businesses can track how their sales are connected to various online promotions.

As Hubbard pointed out, Twitter has been steadily building out its ecommerce capabilities. “We’ve already given users the ability to get deals and discounts, surprise someone with a coffee, or even add items to their online shopping cart -- all directly from a Tweet,” he noted.

The subject of much speculation and scrutiny, the world continues to wait for the official debut of Twitter’s “Buy now” button.

Beating Twitter to the punch, Facebook this week said it has started testing a “Buy” button in news feed ads and page posts. Facebook has also been testing other call-to-action options in ads, including “Sign Up,” “Book Travel” and “Shop Now.”

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