What Amazon Cart Really Means for Twitter

Frank Speiser
Frank Speiser President and Co-Founder, SocialFlow

Posted on May 8th 2014

What Amazon Cart Really Means for Twitter

amazon cart on TwitterYou may have recently seen the news that Amazon has extended its shopping cart to Twitter.

After a one-time setup, you will be able to add things to your Amazon shopping cart by replying to any Tweet containing a link, and typing the hashtag #AmazonCart.  The item in the link will then be added to your Amazon shopping cart.  

While this may seem to be a bit of a gimmick and not very practical to your everyday life, it actually is an important step.  Twitter is layering utility for its users (who typically access their Twitter feed from a mobile device), and making it easier for people to transact based on what they see in their Twitter feed.

And while the “Watch Dogs” game shown in the example above may not be relevant to you, it’s important to note that what you see in your Twitter feed would be much more likely to be relevant--because your Twitter feed is comprised of the people, and brands, you follow.

Twitter said two years ago that it is not a media company, but instead in the media business.  And this is an example of Twitter delivering information to users, in a way which improves their lives in some small way. This is where media is going. Context means everything in a world where users have more choices than ever and continuous competition for their attention.

By using the #hashtag, Twitter is building on previous Twitter-centric concepts like the campaign with Starbucks last year which allows users to “Tweet a coffee” to other users. It will be interesting to watch this play out, but it certainly does show a commitment on Twitter's part to not merely be a place where media is shared and consumed, but to extend the options to act on that information. Twitter is becoming a media company in the absolute broadest sense of the word.

As social media continues to evolve, Twitter's ability to tie a user’s Twitter handle to a billing account will become more important--in fact some may call this the cornerstone of commercial identity.  In this particular case the billing account is owned by Amazon, and Twitter is the conduit back to the Amazon shopping cart.

This announcement is a lot bigger than it looks on the surface. Look for Twitter to continue ways to contextualize the experience for its users.

Frank Speiser

Frank Speiser

President and Co-Founder, SocialFlow

Frank Speiser is the visionary technologist who has brought a science-based approach to marketing and publishing on social networks. He was one of the first people to understand that in order to win the fight for audience attention, businesses and brands needed to be able to reliably determine the real-time value of their content on the social graph. His approach to using applied mathematics, language analysis and technology helped develop the algorithms that power SocialFlow’s ability to understand data and led to a new perception of the value of attention on social networks. Frank has been exploring the practical applications of science and data since his early childhood when at age 8 he made his first program to translate sheet music into sound via BASIC. Since then, Frank went on to hold the CTO positions for New York based Takkle, Inc. (acquired by Alloy Media+Marketing), and video and social site HEAVY. A self-declared baseball fanatic, Frank has been collecting player cards and memorizing statistics since he was young. For him, the game was always about the data and he uses his passion for the sport to create an analogy for what social media managers face when they publish to the web: “Staring down a pitcher at the plate, you have a split second to decide whether to swing or to wait. The growth of Twitter and Facebook means that companies and brands need to make the same split-second decisions everyday based on millions of interactions. At SocialFlow, such fine-grain real-time decisions are what we do every day for our clients.”

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