With Facebook’s IPO on the horizon and the success stories of other tech companies like Google, Apple and even Netscape still fresh in our minds, there seems to be increased media attention on the latest start up’s potential tech stars of the future. I recently blogged about Pinterest, the fastest growing social platform online, and today I wanted to have a quick look at another company which has caught my eye.
Chirpify enables businesses and consumers to buy, sell, donate and exchange funds on Twitter, turning Tweets into transactions. Everyone keeps saying social commerce is the next big thing. On a basic level this means giving people the ability to purchase products directly through social media sites. This is already relatively prominent through the likes of Facebook even if a lot of these products aren’t actually real. Last year Zynga made up 12% of Facebook’s massive revenue, and that was largely through the sale of virtual components for their games.
Looking to the not to distant future though companies are likely to leverage the concept of influencers by offering people the ability to earn discounts by sharing products they like or have bought and thus encouraging others to buy them too.
Lockerz, which has received a whole bunch of funding itself over the last two years has just recently launched a Pinterest like pin board platform, where users can actually gain points which can then be used for purchases, by pinning items to their own boards.
So with these media rich social platforms all trying to coax people out of bricks and mortar stores and online to make their purchases, what hope does a company aiming to use 140 characters to get people to buy have?
There is already a certain degree of selling happening through Twitter. Brands send out links to discounted offers, or celebrities use the micro blogging site to flog their own merchandise to their followers but all of this happens outside of Twitter. People click on a link and are brought some place else where they can make purchases. The whole process isn’t exactly seamless.
What Chirpify does is to allow people to buy, sell, donate and transact directly on Twitter simply by replying to a Tweet. This is done by integrating Chirpify and Pay Pal directly with your Twitter account. Users can then purchase an item on Twitter by simple replying to a Tweet listing with the word buy. This could certainly make for some interesting drunken purchases if it is in fact as easy as this to transact.
There also seems to be potential for donations and with the every tech savvy Obama camp gearing up for another election campaign, being able to get set priced donations directly from people on Twitter simply by them replying donate, seems like a huge benefit.
Another feature which I thought was cool was that it provides an easy platform for people to exchange money. For example if you and a friend or splitting a bill. One of you can simply pay the other person by directly responding to a tweet.
However the fact of the matter is that most of these things can be done already,directly through Pay Pal, but leveraging the huge user base of Twitter might just catch on.
Some start up’s get millions in funding, and the fact that Chirpify, formally known as sell simp.ly got their first investment of just $50,000 recently, might suggest it is small scale. But with social media sites determined to do all it takes to keep users on their site rather than sending them elsewhere, perhaps…Twitter themselves might come knocking?!
- Chirpify Turns Twitter into a Payment and Commerce Platform (thestreet.com)
- Chirpify turns Twitter into a payment and commerce platform (gigaom.com)
- Buy, Sell, Donate And Transact On Twitter With Chirpify (fastgush.com)
- Chirpify Facilitates Scarily Seamless Twitter Payments (pandodaily.com)