It has been an organic progression by social networks to add ecommerce capabilities due to the fact that people find a way to sell stuff in these sites. We have seen large social networks try to capitalize on this need, like Facebook is testing Marketplace and Pinterest has “buyable pins” which are blue in colour.
Twitter, a social network with over 320 million active users which is a sizable user base to try coming up with an ecommerce platform. They started testing how you can buy stuff from Twitter in 2014 and in 2015 brought about more ways for retailers to sell directly on the platform.
It seems like the service has not popular as BuzzFeed News reports, that Twitter has terminated the development of its e-commerce platform and moved the 25 people strong team to other divisions in the company. Some of these people have apparently left and the rest have been moved to customer service and in the ad departments. “People are not buying on social media right now,” a source told the publication, “they are still buying, for the most part, on the mobile web.” The source also told BuzzFeed that there is still a Buy Now card but there is no active product development on it.
That is not all. The publication reached to Twitter for a comment about this issue and a spokesperson released the following statement:
We made a change 3 months ago to increase our investment in commerce by moving fully to Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs) after seeing the great early results we talked about in our Q1 earnings call. We have more product, engineering and business focus on commerce as a result of focusing on DPAs. The bottom line is DPAs work for advertisers and we will continue to invest in that product.
Twitter has decided to focus on its core product and this move is a wake up call for social networks to re-evaluate their e-commerce strategies.