clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Twitter Expands Shopping Experience With Product Pages

The social network is getting serious about commerce.


Twitter is finally taking advantage of its massive amount of tweet data to encourage its users to shop.

The social network is rolling out product pages and what the company calls Collections on Friday, distinct pages within the service where you can see info on specific products or places and actually make a purchase.

A product page will include things like tweets about the product, user reviews, pricing and, in some cases, a buy button. Collections are more of a browsing experience, which include a handful of recommended products and places selected by a brand or high-profile curator. For example, Ellen DeGeneres has a Collection highlighting the “Best of the Ellen Shop,” where you can browse Ellen-branded products or others she has featured on her show.

Twitter is known for throwing things at the wall when testing new features, but the product pages feel more advanced than a typical Twitter test, especially on mobile. The company is launching with 41 different partners on Collections, including Beats, Disney and influential users like Demi Lovato and Ellen, a sign that this new product has been in the works for quite a while.

It also comes at an opportune time for Twitter, which has had a rough couple of months on Wall Street. The company is slowly shedding the reputation that it ships products slowly — it announced a separate upcoming project called Lightning on Thursday. It also gives investors something to latch onto besides the news from late last week that CEO Dick Costolo is leaving the company at the end of the month.

You can’t buy all the products highlighted; some link out to other parts of the Web where a purchase or download can be made. Retailers can choose if they want to sell on Twitter or drive people back to a separate website, and it’s likely some retailers will do both early on as they test to see which method drives better sales.

The new feature is a pretty expansive change to Twitter’s previous shopping experiments. Those were limited to promoted tweets that included a buy button for a single item. The Collections and product pages aim to take advantage of the fact that Twitter already has lots of information about products and services from its user base. It’s now collecting that info to help educate a potential buyer.

Of course, there’s a nice potential revenue stream for Twitter in all of this as well. At launch, retailers don’t need to pay for a product or Collection page — although they certainly can to promote it to a wider audience. The Collections can be accessed from a “Browse Collection” button on the brand or curator’s profile page.

The more likely money-maker for Twitter will be taking a cut of each purchase. For now, Twitter is simply getting the product off the ground and isn’t taking a cut of sales revenue from most partners, but taking a slice off the top seems like a logical next step.

It’s the second product we’ve learned about in as many days from Twitter that appears to be taking advantage of the site’s massive collection of user data. Twitter showed off Lightning on Thursday, a new feature that will curate tweets around specific events. Now it’s curating tweets around specific products.

The new shopping feature is rolling out today on Twitter’s Web, iOS and Android versions.

Additional reporting by Jason Del Rey.

 What Twitter’s new Collection feature looks like on mobile
What Twitter’s new Collection feature looks like on mobile

This article originally appeared on