Twitter announced a new service yesterday which indie authors might like.
The social network started a beta test for new buy buttons. The test will only include a small percentage of U.S. users, and it is only visible on Twitter's mobile apps, so most of us will be unaffected. But in the long run indie authors will have a new sales platform.
From Twitter's blog:
Users will get access to offers and merchandise they can’t get anywhere else and can act on them right in the Twitter apps for Android and iOS; sellers will gain a new way to turn the direct relationship they build with their followers into sales. We’re not building this alone: we’ve partnered with Fancy (@fancy), Gumroad (@gumroad), Musictoday (@Musictoday) and Stripe (@stripe) as platforms for this initial test, with more partners to follow soon.
In our test, an entire purchase can be completed in just a few taps. After tapping the “Buy” button, you will get additional product details and be prompted to enter your shipping and payment information. Once that’s entered and confirmed, your order information is sent to the merchant for delivery.
Twitter is launching the beta test in partnership with a handful of artists, retailers, and non-profits, including Eminem, Home Depot, and RED. Should this work out the service will be available to all.
This beta test is but Twitter's latest idea for generating revenue; in addition to adverts inserted into your Twitter feeds, the social network has also long partnered with Amazon and offered features like embedded Amazon product listings and, as of a few months ago, the #AmazonCart hashtag which Twitterati can use to add an item to their Amazon shopping cart.