Social Media, Shopping Convergence Continues with Twitter, Facebook Moves (July 21, 2014)
The boundary between social media and commerce continues to blur, with a pair of announcements from two major tech companies accelerating the convergence of shopping and socializing online.
Twitter has acquired CardSpring, an application platform that enables businesses to link digital applications, including e-coupons and loyalty programs, to payment cards. The purchase could enable Twitter to begin enabling card-linked offers via tweets. For instance, a merchant could tweet a discount offer that requires users to enter a credit card number. Later, when the customer makes the purchase—in-store or online—the number is recognized and the discount applied. The system could be useful to local businesses who want to drive sales and glean analytic information as to specific promotions and offers.
Meanwhile, Facebook is making it easier for users to make purchases directly through the social network, adding a “Buy” button to ads and page posts that appear in users’ news feeds. Facebook currently is testing the program with “a few small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.,” according to a post on the company’s blog. After clicking the button, users complete the transaction within Facebook, entering card data or using a payment card already stored with the social network. Facebook said it will keep any payment information private and won’t share it with advertisers.
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