Twitter is a great platform for social interaction. We all are aware of that. But what we often overlook is the fact that Twitter could be equally useful as a commerce platform. One company thinks this is the case, and it is working to bring monetization to Twitter.
A Portland, Oregon based start-up called Chirpify launched its Twitter Commerce Platform. It turns tweets into transactions, enabling consumers and businesses to buy, sell, donate and transact on Twitter. Previously known as Sell Simply, Chirpify transforms Twitter from a broadcast platform into a transactional one.
And the transaction process is kept simple. Users just need to type simple commands such as “buy,” “pay” and “donate.” Chirpify uses PayPal as a payment platform for secure transactions on Twitter, allowing you to make a wide range of transactions over the social network.
If you are running a business, for example, then you can simply sell your products by encouraging users to tweet “@favoritebrand Buy.” You can donate money to politician for a noble cause by tweeting “@cause Donate.”
“Brands, retailers, politicians, celebrities and individuals have spent the past six years using Twitter to build communities and brand affinity, so why not allow them to sell on Twitter directly?” says Chris Teso, founder of Chirpify. “Customers don’t have to leave Twitter to make a purchase or donation. Chirpify removes the frictions of traditional e-commerce check-out processes.”
The Twitter Commerce Platform also handles e-commerce storefronts, including Magento, for peer-to-peer transactions. Suppliers need to click on the “list on Twitter” button in their ecommerce dashboard, sales information would then appear on email or retailer’s back-end system and also via a DM on Twitter.
Seeing the potential opportunity, Portland-based incubator Upstart Labs, has invested seed funding into Chirpify for capital and product-development support.
“We identified Chirpify as solving a huge problem in the market: how to monetize social-media efforts,” said Greg Rau, founder and CEO at Upstart Labs. “Chris built an effective and elegant platform to deliver actual ROI based on revenue. Chirpify offers individuals, companies, organizations — anyone — the ability to monetize their Tweets.”
Brands are trying to leverage on various social networking sites including Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Twitter. As a marketing mantra, they are looking for the best ROI. And these social platforms are where they can introduce new products, features and services on a daily basis, all the while taking in metrics to determine the underlying behavior behind transactions of all sorts.
That being said, metrics will be key for Chirpify moving forward, providing solid data sets for analysis to be used in product development, sales and marketing tactics. As trends like social-mobile-local gain in relevance, Twitter will inevitably become a commerce platform in so many words. Whether Twitter reigns in on this market opportunity or leaves it for third parties remains to be seen.