Twitter Testing Tweets That Double As Digital Coupons

Twitter is already flirting with offering users the ability to purchase things from within their feeds with its “Buy” button, and now the social media company is dipping its toes into discount waters with a new test of digital coupons.

The company is trying out the tweets-as-coupons option, “Twitter Offers”, reports Businessweek, as part of its effort to get a chunk of the online commerce pie.

Such a system would allow merchants to offer deals to their followers and ostensibly, in sponsored tweets that could appear to everyone. Using technology from newly-acquired CardSpring Inc. would allow Twitter to link the deals to credit cards, to be used later.

The microblogging service is using technology from CardSpring Inc., acquired four months ago, that enables linking the deals to credit cards so they can be used later. The discounts will be embedded within tweets, with a “get offer” button that then links the promo to their credit cards. Then when you purchase that item, the discount appears on your credit card statement.

Because shoppers already use Twitter to chat about what they do and don’t want to buy, testing features like this will help the company figure out which products are the biggest potential cash cows in light of such behavior, said Nathan Hubbard, head of e-commerce for Twitter.

“We want to give retailers and businesses and influencers of all kinds the ability to respond to that demand and fulfill it,” he told Businessweek. “Ultimately we think Twitter can be the platform that takes social relationships and turns them into transactional relationships.”

Translation: We want to figure out how to take your interactions with your friends and the world and turn them into money.

The discounts will be embedded within tweets, with a “get offer” button for users to link the promotion with their credit cards. When they make a purchase, the discount will show up on their credit card statements, the company said.

Twitter Tests Feature Enabling Retailers to Offer Discounts [Businessweek]