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06/09/2022

Twitter lets customers stay on top of product launches

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Twitter wants to help customers remember about upcoming product introductions.

A new Twitter shopping feature helps ensure customers don’t get shut out of purchasing hot new items.

Twitter is introducing Product Drops, which places a “remind me” button at the bottom of tweets from retailers and brands publicizing upcoming product launches. With one tap, customers can request to be reminded of the product drop.

On launch day, participating customers will get an in-app notification in their Twitter notifications tab 15 minutes before and at the time of the drop. When customers click on the notification, they will see a “Shop on website” button to purchase the item on the retailer’s website.

When a customer first clicks on a retailer’s tweet, they will open a product details page. This is a full-screen space where shoppers can see all information to help them make informed and confident purchase decisions. These includes price, pictures, product description, and a clickable hashtag that will show them what other shoppers on Twitter are saying about the product.

For now, only shoppers in the U.S. who use Twitter in English on iOS devices will be able to see and engage with the Product Drops feature. Twitter is testing Product Drops with select managed partners, including The Home Depot, Dior, Fossil, and Lego Group.

Twitter moves into social commerce
In addition to serving as a platform for users to post news, information, and personal thoughts, Twitter also serves as a vehicle for promoting and selling merchandise. Recent social commerce efforts by Twitter include the beta test of a new offering called Twitter Shop, which will allow retailers to curate a collection of up to 50 products to showcase to customers on their Twitter profile.

Twitter’s current Shop Module, initially piloted in July 2021, allows retailers to showcase up to five products directly on their profile. When consumers visit a profile with Shop Module enabled, they can scroll through a carousel of products and tap through on a single item to learn more and purchase seamlessly in an in-app browser, without having to leave Twitter.

Other recent efforts by Twitter to increase its utility as an e-commerce platform include the November 2021 debut of a livestream shopping event from a U.S. retailer, a 30-minute livestream shopping event held by Walmart during Cyber Week.

In April 2022, billionaire Tesla founder/CEO Elon Musk agreed to purchase Twitter for $44 billion (the deal is not yet finalized). Musk has not publicly discussed plans for any changes in Twitter’s e-commerce efforts.

“People come to Twitter to talk about products and product drops every day,” said Twitter staff product manager Justin Hoang and software engineering manager Siddharth Rao in a corporate blog post. And merchants have long been dropping products on Twitter without any native product support. We’re excited to change that and introduce new shopping features that empower shoppers to stay on top of the launches that matter most to them and provide merchants with another way to engage shoppers around big product moments.”