Twitter Loves #Commerce, Launches Card-Linked Offers

TwitterOffersFollowing on the heels of its buy button announcement and its recent CardSpring acquisition, Twitter announced the introduction of what it’s calling Twitter Offers – another step by the social network to add more commerce functionality to its offering.

Twitter bought CardSpring back in July. The platform enables the creation of payment applications, a clear complement to Twitter’s commerce aspirations.

Advertisers will now have the ability to create card-linked promotions that they can share directly with Twitter users, who will be able to link their credit or debit cards to offers that appears in their timelines. Twitter will then keep a user’s credit or debit info on file for future transactions on Twitter.

Combined with the buy button, which allows users to transact directly from a tweet, and Twitter’s lead gen card product, Twitter Offers will ostensibly make ads on Twitter more actionable and self-contained within the Twitter universe – a play that could be in part an effort to help increase Twitter’s sagging user growth numbers, as well as a move to endear itself to brands.

As Twitter CFO Anthony Noto (the same Noto who misfired a tweet today, seemingly leaking information about a potential upcoming acquisition) observed during the company’s Q3 2014 earnings call: “We continue to drive nice growth and spend per advertiser as we improve the ROI we provide for them and offer new advertising products.”

A post on the company’s blog claimed that Twitter offers will enable advertisers to get a clearer view into offline attribution by tracking offer redemption in-store and attributing sales back to the original user. Once an offer is redeemed, users will be able to see the cash back savings on their card statement.

Twitter already has an existing relationship with American Express and its card-link offers platform, which pushes card-linked deals to customers who sync their cards with their Twitter accounts. Card-linked tech company Cardlytics also offers a similar service.

Both the buy button and Twitter Offers are direct response-centric products designed to reach lower-funnel consumers, which are arguably better-suited to the Twitter platform than branding efforts. Although the jury is still out on whether advertisers will get on board Twitter’s commerce train, Twitter said it’s planning to partner with several brands to begin testing the new Twitter Offers feature during the upcoming holiday season in the US.

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