Twitter and Pinterest improve shopping features

apps popping out of shopping cart on smartphone

It just got a little easier to shop while you tweet: Twitter announced a new shopping feature this week. Pinterest also made a shopping-related announcement this week, announcing an in-app payment feature it’s adding for select users. Both of these developments reflect the growing demand for social trading options.

Twitter Shops, as it’s called, was detailed this week in a brand blog post. The free feature allows merchants to “choose a collection of up to 50 products to showcase to shoppers on Twitter.” For users, it will look like this: A merchant’s profile with Shops enabled will have a “View Shop” button above their tweets. Pressing the button opens the store for browsing. When someone is ready to buy, they click on a product, which opens an in-app browser where they can learn more and view the merchant’s website.

Twitter already had a Shop module feature that allows sellers to feature up to five products on their profile, but the brand says this new feature “gives merchants a larger, fully immersive space to showcase a longer product catalog.” Features like these and its live shopping are part of a larger effort to promote and support businesses large and small on the site, according to Twitter. The brand said it wants to attract 100 million additional users by 2023 by making the site “more participatory and accessible”. according to The Verge.

Among the first Twitter Shops to be activated this week were @Verizon, @ArdenCove, @LatinxInPower, @GayPrideApp and @AllIDoIsCookUS. Currently, only people using Twitter in English on iPhones can interact with Shops, but Twitter says it plans to expand that access and find ways to make Twitter Shops more visible.

Meanwhile, Pinterest announced its deeper dive into e-commerce at its annual Advertiser Summit, noting that “users have long been asking for a way to shop directly on Pinterest.” according to Engadget. The in-app checkout feature is in beta for select Shopify sellers in the US, but the platform plans to expand access this year. The feature is similar to what Instagram started offering in 2020.

Earlier this year, Pinterest added an augmented reality feature called AR Try On for Home Decor that lets users place a piece of furniture virtually in their home to see what it would look like before buying it. “Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen more digitally savvy shoppers than ever before, as millions now expect virtual and mobile options to try before you buy, see personalized recommendations and gather information as part of their decision-making process,” said Jeremy King, senior vice president of engineering on Pinterest.

Additionally, Pinterest plans to add a “personal shopping concierge” feature and make it easier for sellers to upload catalogs to the platform and keep prices up to date, according to Engadget. A trending tool will help sellers visualize real-time search data and learn more about their target audience.

The continued push towards shopping through social media makes sense, given the amount of time people spend on such apps, and it’s a development promotion product professionals should take note of. “Social is the most logical and natural place to be able to shop and transact,” JP Hunt, partner and co-founder of InkSoft, previously said.