Twitter Drops Another Hint That E-Commerce Could Be Coming Soon
The evidence that Twitter is preparing an in-stream shopping service got another boost this week, when some users noticed a “payment & shipping” line within settings in the company’s Android app.
As first reported by The Next Web blog, a number of users posted screen shots showing the setting, while noting that it did nothing when clicked:
Twitter regularly tests new features without fanfare and hasn’t responded to questions about this wrinkle, but it seems clear that this is another step toward a true e-commerce feature. Presumably, such a setting would allow users to enter credit card and shipping information that would enable seamless purchases within the network.
Up to now, Twitter’s e-commerce efforts have involved third-parties such as American Express or Starbucks. But this year, signs are pointing to bringing the payment-within-Twitter options in house. In January, Re/code reported that it was near a deal with startup Stripe to provide backend credit card processing (although such a deal still hasn’t been completed). Re/code also unearthed mockups created by online commerce site Fancy.com of how Twitter e-commerce might work.
And in June, “Buy Now” buttons, apparently generated by Fancy’s shopping app, were seen by Twitter users. Those not-ready-for-prime-time buttons — which only appeared on mobile devices — were quickly taken down.