Today, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced that its social media followers could pay for tickets and other services via Twitter. It’s not quite the same as using Twitter to accept payments or using a stored credit card on Twitter (like iTunes). However, it points toward much more commerce happening on the social site.
The airline said that it was responding to user requests in developing the system. The way that it works is that “KLM sends a link to the customer in a private message on Facebook or Twitter.” The customer then selects a payment method from a list and completes the transaction on a KLM page, rather than Twitter or Facebook.
Separately Twitter has teamed up with payments platform Stripe to enable transactions to happen directly on Twitter. this relationship hasn’t been formally announced but several tech-news outlets have reported on it.
Facebook already offers payments using a stored credit card. In Q4 Facebook make $241 million in payments-related revenue. The company has not aggressively embraced payments; in fact it has backed away from them to a degree. But there’s a real opportunity for Facebook in enabling merchants on the site to implement scheduling and commerce.
There’s an interesting opportunity for Twitter in payments as well, especially mobile payments. To exploit it fully Twitter would need to evolve its user experience and “culture” — from predominantly “push” to both push and “pull.”