Twitter-Amazon Deal May Get Retailers Into Hijacking Mode

Let the #AmazonCart Promoted Tweet bids begin

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Amazon and Twitter are going to make shopping easier on the latter's social media platform. When Twitter users observe a tweet that moves them to purchase, they can reply with the hashtag #AmazonCart to add the product to their shopping cart on (Consumers have to sync their Twitter and Amazon accounts first.)

Any way you shake it, that seems to technologically advance the idea of social shopping. At the same time, the development appears to invite tweet-jacking since, per Twitter, the hashtag will be open season in concerns to Promoted Tweet bidders who buy the platform's search-like inventory against the term. The practice of digital hijacking— or "conquesting"—has long been an e-commerce practice on Google where marketers buy ads targeted at consumers searching for other brands' products. Now it's emerging among social media practitioners, several sources have told Adweek.

So what's to stop, Walmart or eBay from purchasing gobs of #AmazonCart ads? Outside of a little marketing budget—not much.

"Amazon isn't afraid of competition," commented Lee Maicon, svp of strategy at digital agency 360i. "They relish it."

It will be interesting to see if #AmazonCart takes hold, as Wall Street concerns persist about Twitter's ability to significantly increase its audience. Researcher eMarketer projects that Twitter's monthly users this year will account for 11.6 percent of the United States population.

And if marketers buy Promoted Tweets while trying to steal away potential Amazon customers, it probably cannot hurt Twitter's revenues.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.