Twitter Kills Off Ribbon’s In-Stream Payment System Hours After Its Launch

Ribbon gets the kibosh on Twitter

Ribbon gets the kibosh on Twitter

Yesterday morning the Interwebs were all abuzz about a new in-stream payment system from a company called Ribbon, which would allow Twitter users to buy stuff without ever leaving their Twitter feed. But mere hours after Ribbon debuted the feature, Twitter swiftly killed it off.

Here’s how it was supposed to work: A business’ tweet about a product would include a “Buy” link, where users could click and then complete a purchase all from within an expanded window within their Twitter feed. No leaving Twitter, no fuss, no muss.

Ribbon CEO Rashwan wrote in a blog post that the payment features went bye-bye right after the launch:

At around 12:24 PM PST, with no heads up, our integration of Twitter Cards was taken down, and now Ribbon links go back to Ribbon.co without the in-stream buying experience.

Before we released this, we made sure to validate our Twitter Card implantation (screenshot below), and all lights were green. We’ve had discussions with Twitter in the past, and are eager to find a way to work together. This is clearly something that’s good for not only Twitter, but also for Twitter users all over the world.

Twitter hasn’t released a comment yet on why it shut down the service, but it does have quite a reputation for going after third-party developers and likely was a bit miffed at not getting a cut of these Ribbon sales. It has a partnership with American Express that allows customers to use hashtags to buy things, but in that case, Twitter is benefiting from the transactions as well.

Rashwan seems upbeat about the whole situation, saying they’re trying to figure it out and in the meantime, staying in contact with Twitter.

“We’re still excited about the possibilities of what we can build and are looking forward to working with them in the future.”

Update: Twitter shuts down Ribbon’s in-stream payments hours after launch [GigaOm]
An Update on In-Stream Payments on Twitter [Ribbon Blog]