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Twitter's New #AmazonCart Deal Won't Be Its Big Commerce Moneymaker

Twitter won't earn a cut of sales on Amazon's new tweet-to-buy links.

Composite image by Re/code
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Amazon is giving its shoppers another way to add products to their shopping carts, this time through the use of a Twitter hashtag, the company announced on Monday. But Twitter’s deal with the country’s largest online retailer won’t be the social network’s big commerce revenue driver that Wall Street is waiting for.

The partnership lets Amazon shoppers in the U.S. add a product to their shopping cart by tweeting “#AmazonCart” when responding to Twitter messages that include an Amazon product link in it. Shoppers first have to link up their Amazon and Twitter accounts before the feature is initiated.

Yet even if the new partnership becomes a hit, Twitter won’t get a cut of any of the sales that originated with the #AmazonCart hashtag, spokespeople for both companies confirmed. So for those waiting for Twitter’s real commerce initiative, in which the company will make money by letting its users buy products and services right in their Twitter streams, this isn’t it. (Though here’s what it could look like.)

Still, the deal could serve as a bit of a credibility booster for Twitter in the retail industry. Not to mention some nice publicity.

For Amazon, I’m skeptical that the integration will move the needle for the company. Logic would tell you that the #AmazonCart integration would appeal to those shoppers susceptible to impulse buying. Yet Amazon isn’t known as a shopping site that lures impulse buyers or caters to people looking to discover new products; it’s much better known as a place shoppers go when they know exactly what they need to purchase. That makes this partnership a bit of a curious fit.

But it’s worth trying, as Amazon continues to give its shoppers new ways to add products to their carts when they are away from the Amazon website and mobile app. Just last month, Amazon announced Dash, a gimmicky but innovative shopping device that can scan products and automatically add them to your shopping cart. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see it experiment with similar tie-ups in the future, perhaps with Facebook at the top of the list.

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