Twitter, American Express partner on tweet-to-buy commerce
American Express unveiled a new program enabling Twitter users to tweet special hashtags to purchase gift cards and products.
American Express cardholders who sync their card numbers to their Twitter account here can now post hashtags like #BuyAmexGiftCard25 to purchase a $25 American Express Gift Card for $15; to complete a transaction, consumers must re-tweet a confirmation within 15 minutes, an additional step inserted to help guarantee users don't accidentally make a purchase with a single tweet. AmEx bills all transactions to the customer's account using its proprietary Card Sync technology, which first launched on Twitter close to a year ago to deliver discounts to customers who tweet out merchant hashtags.
On Wednesday, American Express will add hashtags and products from brand partners including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Sony, Donna Karan, Urban Zen and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox unit. All purchases are sent to the cardholder's billing address.
The tweet-to-buy program signals a potential new revenue source for Twitter, which has previously relied on advertising to monetize its microblogging service. Neither Twitter nor AmEx would divulge the financial terms of the partnership to The Wall Street Journal, but Twitter Vice President of Global Brand Strategy Joel Lunenfeld said "We're convinced that commerce is going to be one of the areas [for which] advertisers are going to start using our platform." Lunenfeld said it is too early to determine whether Twitter will claim a fee from purchases made by its users.
In addition to Twitter, American Express has rolled out Card Sync integration to Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and foursquare. Leslie Berland, senior vice president of digital partnerships and development, told the Journal that hundreds of thousands of cardholders have connected their AmEx accounts to social media platforms. Berland added that the Twitter coupon program launched with 16 merchant partners and has since expanded to hundreds of partners, noting AmEx anticipates similar growth for the tweet-to-buy initiative.
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