Twitter is stepping back into the e-commerce business.
The company is testing an online shopping feature that businesses can use to sell their products through an in-app browser.
Up front: Twitter’s “Shop Module” lets companies showcase their products at the top of their profiles. Visitors who have the Shop Module enabled can then tap on items they’re interested in. This will open an in-app browser, where the customer can make a purchase without leaving Twitter.
The pilot will begin with a “handful of brands” in the US. In a blog post, Twitter said people in the US who use the platform in English on iOS devices will get to use the Shop Module:
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.
Quick take: The Shop Module isn’t Twitter’s first experiment with e-commerce. The company previously tested a “Buy Now” button and product catalogs, but both features were eventually dropped.
In March of this year, Twitter revealed it was renewing its focus on online shopping. The site says the Shop Module is one of its first steps back into e-commerce.
The company joins the likes of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram in moving further into e-commerce. If the new feature takes off, it could help Twitter get a piece of the online shopping pie.