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“Buy Now” Buttons Start Appearing in Tweets. Is Twitter Shopping Finally Here?

$170 million sneakers, anyone?

Vjeran Pavic
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.

Two things stand out about the sneakers pictured above in a screenshot from Twitter. First, their list price is a cool $170 million (though we imagine that’s a glitch).

Second, there’s a “Buy now” button included in the tweet.

What’s that you say? You didn’t know you could buy stuff directly from a tweet? Neither did we. So what do we have here?

The products being shared in these tweets come from a shopping app called Fancy. Back in January, Re/code uncovered a mock-up online that was created by Fancy and that a source said was used to pitch Twitter on what a Twitter e-commerce integration could look like. But Twitter didn’t launch any buying capability within tweets, until maybe now.

When Re/code uncovered these “Buy now” buttons today, they only surfaced in Twitter’s mobile app and tapping on them didn’t do anything. But Re/code did speak to someone who said that tapping on the button earlier on Monday did lead to a checkout page opening up within the Twitter app. Re/code could not replicate that experience.

So did Fancy accidentally make public another Twitter Commerce experiment? Is Twitter starting to facilitate in-tweet purchases?

The companies aren’t saying. Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser declined to comment, and Fancy execs didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

That said, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for Fancy to include “Buy now” buttons in a tweet without Twitter’s approval. So it’s likely that in-tweet shopping is here, or coming soon.

As former Re/code reporter (and now sworn enemy) Mike Isaac and I reported at the time of the first Twitter Commerce mock-up discovery, the launch would be a long time coming:

The new product comes after a long history of Twitter virtually neglecting commerce options on its service (aside from a few exceptions which weren’t widely adopted by the public). Twitter has also built and shelved multiple commerce-related products in the past, according to two people familiar with the matter.

But the renewed interest in Commerce comes on the heels of a closely watched initial public offering, where questions were raised about Twitter’s ability to add revenue streams in the future. Shortly before the company went public, Twitter hired ex-Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard to run the company’s commerce efforts.

In May, Twitter announced a deal with Amazon that lets Amazon shoppers add a product to their online shopping cart via a tweet. But again, the integration did not allow a Twitter user to pay for a product directly from the tweet.

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