Twitter Signs Amazon Deal to Let Users Shop by Hashtag

Twitter Inc. (TWTR) signed a deal with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) to let users shop directly from posts on its microblogging service, part of a push to add e-commerce options for advertisers.

When product links appear in a tweet, U.S. customers can add the items to their Amazon shopping carts by replying to the post with the hashtag #AmazonCart, the companies said today in a statement. While Twitter won’t get a cut of individual sales, Amazon will increase spending on Twitter advertising products, said a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because terms aren’t public.

Twitter has been seeking to woo advertisers and retailers by adding tools to help them reach its 255 million users. By enabling e-commerce, Twitter is aiming to keep consumers on its site for longer and learn more about their interests and shopping habits -- valuable information for advertisers, which contribute the bulk of the company’s revenue.

The company has been exploring adding direct shopping options on the site, and last year hired former Ticketmaster executive Nathan Hubbard as head of commerce to bolster its efforts. In an interview last week, Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo said shopping on the site would have the same real-time feel as the rest of the Twitter experience.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

An employee stacks items to be shipped at the Amazon.com Inc. fulfillment center in Phoenix, Arizona. Close

An employee stacks items to be shipped at the Amazon.com Inc. fulfillment center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Close
Open
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

An employee stacks items to be shipped at the Amazon.com Inc. fulfillment center in Phoenix, Arizona.

“I think about our commerce opportunity as commerce in the moment,” Costolo said after the San Francisco-based company reported earnings.

Julie Law, a spokeswoman at Amazon, declined to comment on the terms of the deal, as did Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter.

Impulse Buying

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is working to take advantage of potential customers’ impulse-buying habits by making it easy to add items to their shopping carts without ever visiting Amazon.com. Last month, the company unveiled a new device called Dash that customers can use to add items to their online shopping lists by scanning barcodes or speaking the name of the product.

Amazon and Twitter users must connect their accounts on the two websites to enable the new service, and the shopping tweets will be shared publicly in Twitter feeds if the user’s account is unlocked, Seattle-based Amazon said on its website. The items won’t be purchased until users go to their Amazon shopping carts to complete the transactions.

The shares of Amazon rose less than 1 percent to $310.05 at the close in New York. Twitter shares slipped less than 1 percent to $38.75.

About 480 million shares from Twitter insiders will become eligible for sale tomorrow for the first time since the social-media company’s initial public offering in November. That’s more than four times the current amount available for trading, though some of Twitter’s biggest investors said they plan to hang on to the stock even after a 49 percent gain since the IPO.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Jillian Ward, Reed Stevenson

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.