Amazon on Monday unveiled a partnership with Twitter which may signal that the future of shopping lies in your social media feed.
Starting today, Twitter users can link their accounts to an Amazon account, and automatically add items to the shopping cart by responding to any tweet with an Amazon product link bearing the hashtag #AmazonCart. Customers never leave the Twitter feed, and the product is waiting for them when they head over to Amazon.
It's potentially a new business model for Twitter, which so far has relied on sponsored tweets for revenue, but has struggled both with growth and figuring out a way to make money off its 255 million monthly active users. For Amazon, adding another convenient way for its consumers to buy products just fuels its primary business.
An Amazon spokeswoman said Twitter doesn't get revenue from the items added to the shopping carts through #AmazonCart, but declined to further discuss its relationship with Twitter.
"We are certainly open to working with other social networks," said the Amazon spokeswoman. "Twitter in particular offers a great environment for our customers to discover product recommendations from artists, experts, brands and friends."
A Twitter spokesman wasn't immediately available to comment.
Customers who have already linked their Twitter and Amazon accounts will be notified with a reply tweet from @MyAmazon and get an email from Amazon when an item is added to the cart. Customers who haven't yet linked their accounts will receive a tweet reply asking them to do so to enable the feature.
It's not clear, however, whether consumers will embrace #AmazonCart. Because all tweets are public, people risk publicizing their purchasing decisions by responding to a Tweet with that hashtag. The program could also lead to advertisers sending out more tweets with Amazon product links.
Amazon makes clear on its site that the tweet only adds the item to your cart, and isn't a confirmation for purchase. You would still have to go to Amazon later to check out and pay for the product.
Amazon customers in the UK can use #AmazonBasket to add items to their shopping carts starting today.