Twitter tests product promotions

Twitter will let a handful of retailers, including GameStop Corp. and bag company Arden Cove, promote products on their company profiles as part of a renewed push into shopping.

A dozen U.S. retailers will be able to market up to five products at the top of their Twitter profiles. Users can swipe between products and click to visit the retailer’s website to make a purchase.

Twitter isn’t processing the sales and won’t take a cut of any revenue generated by the new feature, but investors cheered the move, sending the shares on their biggest rally in more than three months. The stock climbed as much as 5.3% to $71.92 in New York on Wednesday.

The company has been teasing its interest in shopping for months, aiming to catch up with other social-media platforms that offer e-commerce options.

“We know people come to Twitter to interact with brands and discuss their favorite products,” Bruce Falck, the head of Twitter’s revenue product team, said at the company’s analyst day in February.

“Imagine easily discovering and quickly purchasing a new skin-care product or trendy sneaker from a brand you follow, with only a few clicks.”

But shopping has been a challenge on social-media platforms, including Twitter. The company has built commerce products in the past, including a “buy button” unveiled back in 2014 and later product catalogs, but those features never took off and were eventually shut down.

Twitter’s renewed interest in shopping aligns with a general push into e-commerce by retailers who were forced to move sales online during the pandemic.

At Twitter, the thought is that e-commerce could also benefit its core business — advertising — by helping brands make real sales from the platform. Facebook Inc. has also made commerce a bigger priority since the start of the pandemic.

Twitter’s new product, called “Shop Module,” is only available to English-language users in the U.S. for now.

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Twitter tests product promotions