Stripe Relay

Twitter partnered with the payment company Stripe to allow any merchant with a Twitter account to set up a retail channel on the social network.

Twitter users who don’t want to leave their favorite real-time conversation app to do some online shopping might not have to. The company has rolled out a new partnership that makes shopping while tweeting a whole lot easier.

Courtesy of its partnership with the payment company Stripe, any merchant with a Twitter account can now set up a retail channel on the social network.

That means those “buy” buttons that have been appearing on some tweets are likely to become much more of a mainstay in the coming weeks and months as retailers jockey to gain consumer attention.

How it Works

The Relay project, as it is called, was launched by Twitter and Stripe in early September. The new feature enables retailers to add the “Buy” button to their tweets.

This button, in turn, enables a pop-up screen that lets consumers make selections, order and pay right from the Twitter app. All users need to do is give Twitter their payment information once and it is stored for future purchases using Relay.

Stripe Relay

An example of how Stripe appears in your Twitter feed.

Why it Matters

For Twitter, project Relay is a possible new revenue stream that may help turn around some rather lackluster earnings numbers experienced recently.

For merchants, the social network’s announcement of its partnership with Stripe provides them with a brand new way to reach their customers where they are. The convenience and audience access is also hoped to help merchants boost their own numbers.

As sunglass manufacturer Warby Parker’s Chris Maliwat told Buzzfeed, “it’s important for us, as an overarching strategy, to be where our customers are.”

Going Political

Online shopping isn’t the only new addition to Twitter in recent weeks. As the 2016 presidential campaign heats up, the social media platform has also rolled out a partnership with the payment platform Square. This addition enables candidates to solicit campaign contributions straight from Twitter users with the click of a button.

Twitter’s new feature is quickly gaining attention from candidates. The Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns were fast to embrace the ability to add to their war chests and have already begun accepting donations via Twitter and its “Square Cash” program.

Square is a company cofounded and led by Twitter’s own cofounder and interim CEO Jack Dorsey. While Twitter won’t take a cut of contributions made, Square will get a 1.9% fee from all contributions made.

As Twitter struggles in earnings and against fierce competition from other social media networks, the additional features are hoped to breathe new life into the platform.

Twitter has an average of 304 million active users on a monthly basis. Social giant Facebook recently hit a milestone of 1 billion active users on a single day.


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