Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Twitter has finally realized that people don’t use it to buy things

Twitter Founder
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Twitter is reportedly putting a halt to its e-commerce projects in order to focus on its core experience, namely the live tweeting service it has always provided.

As a result, Twitter’s commerce team has been disbanded, with individuals slotted into other departments at the company, according to BuzzFeed News.

The e-retail initiative, started by former CEO Dick Costolo, included a ‘buy’ button that was often integrated into branded product pages on the platform.

The problem, however, was that almost no one ever purchased anything via Twitter. In fact, some analysts now warn that the entire social media retail bubble may be about to pop. The likes of Pinterest and Facebook also attempted to attract revenue by placing similar buying options on their networks. But consumers have ignored social media, and have continued to flock to mobile retail sites instead.

Twitter's 'buy' button featured on a product page
Twitter’s ‘buy’ button featured on a product page Image used with permission by copyright holder

Although its “buy” button remains active, Twitter has chosen to instead focus on dynamic product ads. The latter are targeted advertisements shown to people based on their browsing activity. Twitter recently revealed that these ads achieve double the click-through rates and conversions of promoted tweets.

Twitter’s current leader, Jack Dorsey, doesn’t seem to be concerned with people buying things through the platform. Since taking back the reins in October of last year, he has made it very clear that he envisions the service as a place for live interactions. Dorsey has pinned his hopes on tweaking the current Twitter framework in an effort to attract new users and appease its fans.

For newbies, the platform has eliminated the inconvenience of finding and following its influencers, refining the Twitter experience using curated news feeds and an algorithmic timeline. For its outspoken supporters, it is broadening the amount of leverage they can get from its 140-character tweets without completely scrapping that core experience. Finally, but no less crucially, Dorsey is focusing on integrating livestreams — extending to Periscope and beyond — into its platform.

Dorsey clearly has a firm grasp on Twitter’s strengths and, it seems, e-retail was never its strong point.

Editors' Recommendations

Saqib Shah
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Saqib Shah is a Twitter addict and film fan with an obsessive interest in pop culture trends. In his spare time he can be…
Don’t buy the Apple Watch Series 3 anymore — it’s not worth it

After Apple announced the long-awaited Apple Watch Series 7, you may have found your eyes, and especially your wallet, drawn to the idea of the Apple Watch Series 3 dropping its price to a downright affordable $199. While it won't have any of the features of the Series 7, like upgraded specs, improved battery life, a fancy new design, and a plethora of new features, it'll come in at $200 less, compared to the $399 Series 7. This may sound like a deal on its face. But we advise against falling for this ruse.

Here's why:
A design that hasn't aged well
First, put this timeline into perspective. Apple released the Series 3 in September 2017. The design back then didn't put it out of step with other smartwatches on the market. At release, we even praised it in our review as a "joy to use" and the "best smartwatch you can buy." That was true then, but in 2021 the design has started to show its age.

Read more
Don’t make this key mistake when choosing a new gaming laptop to buy
RTX 30-series laptops.

Do you know which 30-series mobile graphics card to buy? It's a more difficult task than you might think. Nvidia currently offers eight distinct mobile graphics cards: The RTX 3050, 3050 Ti, 3060, 3070, and 3080, as well as the Max-Q variations of those last three. And then there are 42 distinct versions of these cards across the range, leading to widely varied performance depending on the version you get.

This comes down to the TGP, or Total Graphics Power, of the GPU. When designing a laptop, manufacturers have to decide how much board power to allocate to the graphics card, and they have some wiggle room. The more power the card receives, the faster its clock speed can be, which changes the raw power of the card.

Read more
Amazon Music now has a car mode, but don’t use it while driving
Amazon Music Car Mode

The Amazon Music app for iOS and Android now comes with an optional car mode that offers up a simplified interface that can automatically launch as soon as you connect to your car's Bluetooth system.

It looks like the ideal solution for those who don't have an infotainment system that's compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto but want to stream music from Amazon Music while driving. According to an email from Amazon's PR partner, the new feature was designed "to limit extensive browsing while driving." Curiously, however, on the webpage that promotes car mode, Amazon warns its customers that they should not "interact with this app while operating your vehicle." Which naturally raises the question: Why give the app a car mode at all?

Read more