Pharrell, Ryan Adams, New Pornographers help Twitter launch new "buy" button

Twitter joins the consumer fray

By Sarah Gray

Published September 8, 2014 6:00PM (EDT)

Pharrell Williams       (Richard Shotwell/invision/ap)
Pharrell Williams (Richard Shotwell/invision/ap)

On Monday, a handful of U.S. Twitter users will notice a new feature: The social media platform is testing a "buy" button.

Not only can Twitter users rabidly consume news and culture, comedy and, of course, advertising, now they can buy things. Twitter is offering special offers, and the ability to buy items, or make a charitable contribution without even leaving the app.

Many different bands, brands and charities have partnered with Twitter for the introduction of the "buy" button, including Pharrell Williams, Death From Above 1979, Ryan Adams, the New Pornographers, GLAAD, Global Citizen and more.

This Amazon-ification, if you will, of social media is also being tested by Facebook. The company announced the introduction of buy button back in July.

This is just the latest change to Twitter, which has swapped fonts, added new notifications, cut ties with TwitPic, added favorites to users' timelines and recently announced intentions of adding an algorithm to dictate content.

The micro-blogging platform has been an important tool in disseminating news and fueling social movements, and recent changes have left some users worried about how Twitter will work without its raw content.

This addition of a "buy" button appears less about satisfying users, than shareholders and advertisers. From TechTimes:

"The new feature is an attempt to expand revenue for the San Francisco-based social media site, making the platform more appealing to advertisers. Twitter is feeling pressure from investors because of its slow user growth. The new buy button will entice users to shop while they tweet to bring direct sales to businesses."

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

New Music New Pornographers Pharrell Williams Ryan Adams Technology Twitter