Twitter is being pushed by its stakeholders, its board members and its users to innovate and create new functionality and features that will make it more essential to consumers—and help create more revenue streams for impatient investors.
Cue two new mobile commerce partnerships designed to do just that, with a new “Buy” button enabled by Stripe’s Relay platform helping retail brands set up shop on Twitter while a “Contribute” button lets political candidates and supporters connect financially.
The new partnership with mobile payments platform Stripe involves the creation of Relay, a new service that lets any merchant set up a retail channel on Twitter, with one-click buying and mobile optimization.
The hope is that developers will use Relay to “build great mobile e-commerce experiences, and for stores to participate in them offer instant purchase via a buy button,” according to a blog post that shows how a “buy” button can be embedded directly on a Twitter card.
Partnering with Twitter for launch, Relay aims to streamline mobile shopping for retailers and consumers and expand on Twitter’s “buy” button tests to date. It also has a “remember me” feature so Stripe merchants retains users’ payment information without an account or even when purchases are made from different stores.
“The main idea is to shorten paths to purchase for consumers, which, of course, is every retailer’s goal,” Adweek comments. “Relay, in theory, can help a marketer attract mobile consumers as they discover the brand’s products via in-app ads or organic discovery.” Retailers testing Relay include Warby Parker, ShopStyle, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tuff & Needle, Teespring, FabFitFun, Hello, Glossier, Wish and Spring.
— Stripe (@stripe) September 14, 2015
“The time is now for us to put these tools in the hands of merchants and watch how they build on the platform,” Nathan Hubbard, Twitter’s head of commerce, told BuzzFeed. “It’s important for us, as an overarching strategy, to be where our customers are — whether that’s in shopping neighborhoods like [San Francisco’s] Hayes Valley or in social applications they use today,” Chris Maliwat, head of product management at Warby Parker, told BuzzFeed.
Stripe CEO Patrick Collison said Relay helps streamline the “obstacle course” that is m-commerce, adding that Relay has an “air of inevitability to it,” and already supports payments for popular apps like Instacart (which just announced a delivery test with Target) and Lyft.
“It’s not competing with any existing product, it’s competing with entropy in the world,” Collison told TechCrunch. “It’s very clear to us looking at any ecosystem that it needs to be solved. That’s the kind of infrastructure we want to build.”
SAP is helping make the service available to hundreds of retailers and is also partnering with InMobi’s ad network of more than 30,000 mobile apps to help brands use buy buttons in their third-party app pitches.
Another mobile commerce app is also working with Twitter payments in a unique partnership that kicks off today, with Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey’s Square now enabling donations to US candidates through a tweet. The move marks the first time that Dorsey’s two companies have partnered.
“By partnering with Square to enable donations through Tweets, and as the 2016 election season heats up, we’ve upgraded these tools through which citizens can raise their voices to champion causes and candidates they support,” Twitter stated in a blog post.
Candidates sign up for a Square Cash account, and once verified by Twitter, can tweet a URL or “$Cashtag” soliciting donations. Twitter users can express their support for a candidate while simultaneously donating to their campaign by clicking a “Contribute” button to choose the amount and set-up a payment card which is saved for future donations.
A different kind of vote can also be cast for The Presidents Cup 2015 as PGA fans can choose from two clothing options per team prior to the competition’s opening, October 8. Voting cards are available for the international team and for the US team, and polls are open through midnight with results announced September 16.