Dive Brief:

  • Continuing its social commerce experimentation, Twitter has unveiled a Product Drops feature, which notifies users when sellers release new merchandise, the social network announced on Wednesday. For now, the feature is only available to U.S. consumers who use Twitter in English on iOS devices.
  • If a brand tweets about an upcoming launch, Twitter users can select a “remind me” button and receive a notification 15 minutes before the product is released. From there, they will see a “shop on website” button that will redirect them toward the seller’s e-commerce site, according to the announcement. 
  • Product information will be available when a seller tweets about a new drop, including product images, price and a clickable hashtag to see what other users are saying about the product. Among the companies testing the Product Drops feature are Dior, The Home Depot and The Lego Group.

Dive Insight:

With the rollout of Product Drops, Twitter joins other major social networks, including Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, in ramping up its social commerce tools to cater to brands and retailers. While the latest feature is limited to select brands to begin with, Twitter said it plans to update and extend these features to more businesses and customers on its platform going forward. 

“People come to Twitter to talk about products and product drops every day. And merchants have long been dropping products on Twitter without any native product support,” Siddarth Rao, manager of software engineering at Twitter, and Justin Hoang, staff product manager, wrote in a company blog post. “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.”

Twitter is a relative latecomer to social commerce. Last July, Twitter began testing its Shop Module, a tool that lets companies show their products at the top of their Twitter profiles. The social media platform initially piloted it with U.S. iOS users and multiple unnamed brands. Since then, the company has made several other pushes into e-commerce. In November, the company tapped Walmart for its first livestream shopping event during Cyber Week.

This year, Twitter has continued to develop new social commerce tools, including the Twitter Shops feature that enables merchants to display up to 50 products on the app. Twitter piloted the tool with Verizon, Gay Pride Apparel and Arden Cove, among others. In the spring, the company enlisted brands including New Balance, Lexus and Bose to test its new advertising features, which includes the ability to display products in 3D and click a “Shop Now” button to buy. 

The market for shopping via social media apps is predicted to rise. An Accenture report released in January projects that social commerce will reach $1.2 trillion by 2025, a trend that will primarily be driven by Gen Z and millennial shoppers.



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