Twitter inks e-commerce deal with American Express

Summary:UPDATED: Twitter is leaning on e-commerce as its next big potential revenue stream amid releasing new numbers about its heavily-active mobile user base.

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Twitter is embarking on a path to another potential revenue stream through a partnership with American Express.

It was reported on Monday that both parties have confirmed the e-commerce deal, but financial details are quite limited.

On a surface level, this is the gist of how it is going to operate:

American Express card holders who connect their card numbers to their Twitter accounts can post on Twitter to trigger a purchase of select products, including discounted American Express gift cards, Kindle Fire tablets from Amazon.com Inc. and jewelry from designer Donna Karan. The program will roll out over the next few days.

It's not clear yet what kind of cut Twitter would get from this -- if any at all.

For American Express, it appears that one of the biggest takeaways for the credit card company will be a more conclusive link between its customers and social media. But this isn't the first time Amex has collaborated with a social network as the finance giant integrated services with Foursquare over the last few years.

The news came about as Twitter itself published official statistics about its user base.

The overriding theme from the report is that mobile is the primary way people use Twitter, and primary mobile users use Twitter way much more heavily than all other members of the social network.

Taylor Schreiner, co-head of ad research at Twitter, explained the potential benefits for sales and marketing in a blog post on Monday, citing that average Twitter user follows five or more brands.

Bottom line: As consumers continue to shift their time to mobile, a big opportunity arises for brands. Mobile is in our DNA at Twitter, which means our platform can connect your brand to users in real time, wherever they are. Because mobile ads on Twitter are part of the organic content experience, they create a particularly powerful vehicle for brands to create reach, build frequency and drive engagement.

These findings should be of paramount importance as this e-commerce project moves forward -- not to mention just for online marketers in general.

UPDATE: Twitter also confirmed the news -- via tweet, no less -- about teaming up with Amex. Here's a promo clip:

Image via The Twitter Advertising Blog

Topics: E-Commerce, Mobility, Smartphones, Social Enterprise, Tablets

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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