By Bruce Falck
Remember 2015? The timeline was divided about the true color of this dress. We got our first up close look at Pluto. Culottes were cool. And at Twitter, we were in the early stages of exploring shopping on Twitter with features like the “Buy Now” button, product pages and product collections.
We eventually stepped back from our shopping pursuits to focus on other areas. Now, as you heard from us earlier this year, we’re back and putting more energy into testing out the potential for shopping on Twitter.
As one of our first steps forward, today, we’re launching a pilot of the Shop Module -- a feature that allows us to explore how shoppable profiles can create a pathway from talking about and discovering products on Twitter to actually purchasing them.
The Shop Module is a dedicated space at the top of a profile where businesses can showcase their products. When people visit a profile with the Shop Module enabled, they can scroll through the carousel of products and tap through on a single product to learn more and purchase -- seamlessly in an in-app browser, without having to leave Twitter.
We’re starting small with a handful of brands in the United States. People in the U.S. who use Twitter in English on iOS devices will be able to see the Shop Module.
We believe in the power of the conversations that Twitter facilitates around products. With this pilot, we’ll get to explore how our engaged, responsive and chatty audience reacts to products that are emotionally charged -- like a new jersey from your favorite sports team -- or that provide lasting impact -- like a new skincare regimen. And, fundamentally, it’ll give us the chance to keep learning about which shopping experiences people prefer on Twitter.
As we learn, we’re creating deeper partnerships with businesses that reflect whom we’re building for with a new Merchant Advisory Board. The board will consist of brands that have established themselves as best-in-class examples of merchants on Twitter. With their partnership, we hope to more easily address the needs of businesses of any size or vertical in our product innovation.
While the Shop Module is a step in better-supporting shopping on Twitter, it also builds upon our efforts around Professional Profiles, which we started introducing earlier this year. With modular components for Professional Profiles, businesses across the globe – from small businesses and legacy brands to creator-founded businesses – will have access to customized profiles with features intended to help drive engagement and business outcomes.
Stay tuned. Though we are in very early explorations, we’re excited about the potential of shopping on Twitter and eager to learn more as we go.