Twitter Tests Curated Social Shopping Features

Collections and pages integrate into the Twitter interface and could turn the site into a product discovery platform.

This year so far has been a time of modernization for Twitter. For example, the company redesigned its front page in April to make the service more accessible to potential members and unregistered users. Now a pair of news features, titled pages and collections, are being testing and could turn Twitter into an integrated shopping destination.

The pages and collections are a new discovery tool that will allow users to explore timely and relevant content related to the tweets appearing in their feed. Dedicated pages will appear for content relating to places and products, and users will be able to view video, image, and descriptions related to the product.

Additionally, timely and relevant tweets relating to products will appear on pages. Users will also be able to check prices and make purchases from within the Twitter app.

Product manager Amaryllis Fox blogged about the tested features:

The first experience we’re testing is a new way to surface and organize relevant Tweets about products and places on dedicated pages. These pages will feature images and video about the product alongside information such as a description, price, and an option to buy, book, or visit the website for more information.

Take for example the book “The Martian” by @andyweirauthor. We’ll show you images and a description right above the Tweets that are most timely and relevant to you. These may be Tweets from accounts you follow, relevant news updates, or popular content about the book.

Collections will function in a similar way; however, this content will be created by brands and influencers. Collections will provide Twitter’s power users with an online shop that lets their fans window shop at their leisure within the Twitter app. Twitter has teamed up with curators to show demonstrate how collections work, and attracted partners including @GameOfThrones to @TheEllenShow.

These collections seem to finally provide a shopping experience worthy of Twitter’s buy button. Providing a means to browse products within the app, enables Twitter to provide a product discovery experience similar to that of Instagram, which has been likened to shopping at a bazaar.

Collections and pages look like they could easily integrate into the Twitter browsing experience while still exposing users to more shopping opportunities. Pinterest has long been the network with the highest percentage of online shoppers, but that may be due to Pinterest’s visual and sharable nature. Now it looks like Twitter is ready to capture some of that market share.