According to a recent* report from Buzzfeed, Twitter are saying goodbye to their “buy” button after just two years.
The social media giant’s commerce team has now been disbanded, leaving the company to focus on other core programmes that engage directly with its customers. The vast majority of the 25-strong team have now been re-deployed to other areas like customer service or left the company completely, sending out a clear message that the idea of buying direct from the platform hasn’t been as popular with users as initially expected.
Although the Twitterdom are engaging with videos which may lead indirectly to sales for businesses, they are simply not choosing to click on the “buy” tab. Why is not clear, and it seemed like a great idea at the time, but if the people don’t want it, Twitter have recognised that there’s little point in flogging a dead horse. Instead, the company have chosen to focus on things that are proving more popular, like vines and the use of emojis in marketing.
Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief between 2010 and 2015, placed a big emphasis on e-commerce but since he has left, the company has already seen some major changes. New CEO Jack Dorsey has a new vision which is less about direct selling and more about improving user experience and finding other more exciting ways of advertising, which means the “buy” button will soon become a dim and distant memory.
It’s not all doom and gloom for businesses looking for a sales platform, though. Twitter are still looking at ways to help businesses sell their products to a wider audience, they will just be doing it in different ways. The likely message from Twitter users is that if they want to buy something they’ll do it via an online store and they expect a different kind of experience from social media. People do respond to dynamic ads, but they’re drawn to them through creative campaigns using videos or other imagery that speaks to them.
Maybe one day the buy button will return, but for now it’s been shelved in favour of the more entertaining options that users are clearly looking for.
*May 25 2016