Twitter kills the buy button, ends focus on ecommerce

Twitter began its buy button endeavor under former CEO Dick Costolo.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

It appears that Twitter's ecommerce efforts have finally come to a close.

According to an email sent to users of the ecommerce platform Shopify, which was obtained by TechCrunch, the Twitter sales channel is shutting down "as a result of the Twitter team pivoting way from their ecommerce focus."

Twitter disbanded its commerce team working on buy buttons last May, with some members getting absorbed into other teams and others leaving the company altogether. At the time, the company insisted that it was actually increasing its investment in commerce by reallocating buy button resources into dynamic product ads.

This latest development signals that any ecommerce ambitions at Twitter are effectively dead.

Twitter began its buy button endeavor under former CEO Dick Costolo. The company had championed the concept as a way for brands to turn their Twitter followers into paying customers.

But after Jack Dorsey took over in October 2015, the company made it clear that it would be focusing on its core strengths going forward. Plus, it turns out no one was going to Twitter to buy stuff.

Yet, even as Dorsey works to refine Twitter's user experience, the network has struggled to attract new users and appease the ones it already has.

As for the buy button, the concept is seen as a way to close the gap between social media and online retail, leading merchants, tech providers, and social media companies to experiment with how to use the technology to increase digital sales.

The technology isn't exactly new anymore, but its staying power and the longterm impact it could have on ecommerce is unclear.

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