Unlike Facebook and Pinterest, Twitter will no longer let you buy products through its platform starting in February.
Twitter is killing off its “buy” button, a feature it has gradually been phasing out since May. As a result, the company is putting a halt to its ecommerce partnerships and shutting down its sales channel on February 1.
Despite Twitter not officially announcing a change, ecommerce platform Shopify — which offered the Twitter sales channel — noted the initiative is being deactivated in the help section of its website.
The news was initially circulated in a Shopify email to Twitter sales partners (first spotted by TechCrunch), informing them of the imminent closure of the ecommerce feature. Twitter will, however, retain its “donate” button that allows users to give to non-profits and charities.
Twitter’s sales channel was implemented in September 2014, during the tenure of former CEO Dick Costolo. It was described as a feature that could help businesses drive sales by incorporating a “buy” button into their tweets on the timeline. Its official partners are listed as Adidas, Best Buy, Pacsun, and Harper Collins, among others. Aside from Shopify, it lists Stripe, Demandware, BigCommerce, and Delivery Agent as its partner platforms.
Due to a slow rollout, the feature never really gained any traction. It was also left out of most of the company’s earnings reports — indicating that perhaps it was not taking off. In May, a report made it clear that Twitter was no longer interested in the feature. The company reportedly disbanded its ecommerce team last year, slotting the individuals into other departments. Yet the buy button has somehow managed to stick around until now. We reached out to Twitter, but it declined to comment on the move.
Over the past year, Twitter has instead focussed on its customer relations offerings for businesses — including new messaging and support functions — and its Website Conversions commerce tool, launched in September. The company has also downsized its operations, first by cutting jobs — it axed around nine percent of its workforce in October — and then by radically paring-back its Vine video-looping app this month.