After a very troubled and controversial 2022 for Twitter, we already have the first signs that 2023 may not be that different in bluebird land.
According to The Financial Times, Elon Musk, the newest Twitter CEO, is planning to make Twitter a payment platform, going entirely beyond anything we could have possibly imagined for Twitter’s future.
It’s difficult to imagine Twitter as a payment platform, I know. Principally, with every recent Twitter update, as crazy as they were, they were always consistent with content creation – Twitter’s main focus until now. The polemic edit button and several other changes we’ve been tracking lately, all of them were at some level related to content.
Well, it doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. In January 2023, Twitter started to work on a feature called Coins, allowing users to support creators on the platform. Ok, making a little effort, this feature is still within the content creation universe, right!? TikTok, for example, has launched the Creator Fund, with a very similar proposal.
But, still according to The Financial Times report, Musk is going a little further and wants users to be able to buy stuff on the platform, along with the possibility to send money to each other – and not just to creators. And it is here, in my opinion, that we completely leave the universe of content creation, and start a new chapter in the history of the platform.
Ok, but what does this mean for marketers and brands?
This new feature (and the new Twitter chapter) may take a while since the company needs to take some bureaucratic steps with the U.S. Treasury and needs regulatory licenses before starting to operate as a payment processor. But, even so, what does this change mean to marketers and brands – and even to creators and users?
It’s hard to imagine how Twitter will look in the near future, and even what the purpose of the platform will be. Are we still talking about a content creation platform, or will the focus only be on payments? And in the case that we have everything happening in the same place, both content and payments, how will this dynamic work?
Unfortunately, we still don’t have the answer to these questions. Digging a little deeper into Elon Musk’s past, his history with X.com and Paypal in 2000, and his self-professed love of cryptocurrency may give us a clue of what he is planning to do with Twitter, but, even though, everything is still in the assumption field.
But oddly enough, we can say that this Twitter movement to start exploring payment features was predictable. First, it is not a secret that Elon Musk is seeking opportunities to make Twitter profitable again, since the platform lost many of its top advertisers last year.
Second, this “in-app payment” movement is also happening with other major players in the digital world: Amazon is testing a shopping feed, aiming to guarantee a complete buyer experience in-app, and TikTok is also exploring similar paths.
For now, Twitter is still for creators and brands to interact with its audience, therefore your strategy doesn’t need to drastically change – and there is already a lot to be explored.
But when the time comes to explore this new feature, don’t forget to put your customer at the center of your decisions. As we saw in this article, in-app payment options are coming, thus it will be our job as Marketing professionals to ensure the same buyer experience anywhere we decide to explore.
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