Twitter have implemented the first instance of a store front, built directly into their user’s interface.
Penguin Random House is a launch partner for a new initiative by Twitter to turn the social media platform into a shopping experience, with an overall aim to ‘bring fiction to life on Twitter’.
This appears to be the next in the series of experiments conducted by Twitter, as last year the company partnered with Amazon, allowing users to utilise the hashtag #amazoncart to automatically add the viewed item to their shopping cart.
However, this idea has the potential to soar much higher.
The concept is simple: by clicking on any tweeted book-related branding by Penguin Random House, you will be taken to a dedicated product page within Twitter. From here, you can browse comments about the title and (if you like what you hear) go on to purchase a copy right then and there.
The ‘store front’ can also be accessed by visiting the Penguin Random House Twitter page and clicking on the new ‘Browse Collection’ button in the middle-right of the profile.
Initially the system was launched with a single title, but more are slowly being released over time.
Although this is a novel concept, I can’t personally see it exploding in popularity among the retail bookseller crowd, as the prices these titles are being offered at are a little steep in my books. Readers can very easily purchase the majority (if not all) of the 9 currently available titles on alternate, discount sites such as Amazon or ebay, and can grab it on their kindle for even more savings.
Despite this possible setback, the idea is intriguing, and could be the beginning of Twitter-based store fronts, provided they can find a way to compete with the drastically reduced prices most people look for when shopping online.
Putting work where it matters most
Twitter has had a long-standing involvement with the arts, as a great platform to establish, promote and grow a creative persona or offering.
It is usually the case that the most hardcore fans can be found in the Twitterverse, forming strong, but ultimately insulated communities of activity.
Podcasters, comedians and writers have caught on to this, and all use it – particularly in the US – to ‘snowball’ their work, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.
If this creative audience is given the ability to create their own Twitter store front, add their work and manage the pricing, then this exciting new feature has huge potential to give self-published writers and budding creatives a golden opportunity to plug their work directly into this online presence, drastically increasing their visibility.
Whether or not this feature will be rolled out to ‘the masses’ remains to be seen, but in my opinion Twitter already has the perfect demographic signed up, plugged in and tweeting away.