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  • Meerelle Cruz

Twitter Has Begun A Pilot Program For Live-Stream Shopping Broadcasts

YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest are all doing it, and now Twitter is the latest social media platform to go into live-stream purchasing in the hopes of boosting eCommerce activity through immediacy and engagement of merchant broadcasts.

Twitter's form of live-stream shopping, as seen in this example, allows users to tune into the live broadcast while shopping options are provided below the video feed. The current version of the presentation allows users to either listen in on the live tweet debate around the event or browse a 'Shop' tab that lists all of the products mentioned throughout the broadcast. The option takes advantage of the platform's real-time engagement features as well as the expansion of online commerce. And we'll get our first taste of how that works in practice very shortly.

Twitter is launching its first Live Shopping test in partnership with Walmart, kicking off Cyber Week with singer, songwriter, dancer, and social media sensation Jason Derulo for the first-ever shoppable live stream on Twitter. People may watch and shop from @Walmart (on iOS and PC) starting at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 28, where Jason will host a 30-minute variety show highlighting electronics, home goods, fashion, seasonal décor, surprise special guests, and much more.

Walmart has been an early adopter of the next generation of digital commerce projects, collaborating with TikTok and Snapchat on different in-stream shopping initiatives. It'll be fascinating to see how the company responds to the same on Twitter, where it has over 1.2 million followers since the results could serve as a type of standard for other brands considering the same.

Over the last year, Twitter has been working on a variety of in-stream shopping alternatives, with the launch of a live test of its upcoming Shop module for company profiles in July representing a significant step forward. The feature is one of several that Twitter is developing for its new 'Professional Profiles,' which are also currently in beta testing and will eventually allow Twitter to support more in-stream engagement for companies, allowing you to drive more referral traffic directly from your tweet activity.

It's tough to predict how effective purchasing on the app will be. Twitter has already experimented with in-stream buying tools, including a 2015 test of a shop tab on select profiles, as well as 'Product and Place Collections,' which allowed selected high-profile users to promote things in a dedicated section.

None of them took off, therefore Twitter's commerce team was disbanded in 2017 and the company's eCommerce initiatives were scaled back. However, with the rise of online shopping and the platform's renewed focus on innovation, now is the time to try again, and with live commerce driving strong response in China, western social platforms see major potential to capitalize on the same trend to maximize their product showcase options.

Live-immediacy streaming's and interactivity features, combined with eCommerce, could help Twitter take the next step, and it'll be interesting to see how it evolves the option, as well as whether Twitter users are open to the new experience. In addition, Twitter says it's expanding its Shop Module test with select merchants in the United States, and it's seeking to roll out stronger catalog intake and management systems to help with the process. These will eventually connect to the platform's Professional Profiles, giving you another way to promote and sell your products in-stream.

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