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Twitter Launches Initial Test of Live-Stream Shopping Broadcasts



YouTube’s doing it, as is Instagram, as well as Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest too – and now Twitter becomes the latest social media app to dip its toes into live-stream shopping, in the hopes of maximizing eCommerce activity via the immediacy and engagement of retailer broadcasts.

As you can see in this example, Twitter’s variation of live-stream shopping will enable users to tune into the live broadcast, with shopping options displayed below the video feed. The presentation, as it currently stands, will enable users to either tune into the live tweet discussion around the event, or check out a ‘Shop’ tab featuring all the products highlighted in the broadcast.

The option taps into both the rise of online commerce and the real-time engagement benefits of the platform. And soon, we’ll get our first look at how that works in practice.

As explained by Twitter:

We are conducting our first test of Live Shopping in collaboration with Walmart, where they will be kicking off Cyber Week with singer, songwriter, dancer and social media superstar Jason Derulo for the first-ever shoppable livestream on Twitter. Starting at 7pm ET on Sunday, November 28, people can watch and shop from @Walmart (on iOS and desktop), where Jason will host a 30-minute variety show highlighting electronics, home goods, apparel, seasonal décor, surprise special guests and much more.”

Walmart has been a keen adopter of the next wave of digital commerce initiatives, already partnering with both TikTok and Snapchat on their various in-stream shopping pushes.

It’ll be interesting to see what sort of response the company gets to the same on Twitter, where it has over 1.2 million followers, with the results potentially providing a benchmark, of sorts, for other brands considering the same.

Twitter’s been developing a range of in-stream shopping options over the past year, with the launch of a live test of its coming Shop module for business profiles back in July marking a major step forward in its progress.  

The module is one of several that Twitter’s developing for its new ‘Professional Profiles’, which are also now in live testing, and will eventually enable Twitter to facilitate more in-stream engagement for brands, helping to drive more referral traffic direct from your tweet activity.

It’s difficult to say how successful shopping will be in the app. Twitter has tried in-stream shopping tools before, with a test of a shop tab on certain profiles in 2015, as well as ‘Product and Place Collections‘, which enabled some high profile users to promote products in a dedicated section.

None of those seemed to catch on, which eventually lead to Twitter disbanding its commerce team in 2017, and scaling back its eCommerce efforts.

But now, amid the rise of online shopping, and with the platform’s renewed focus on innovation, the time is right to try again, and with live commerce driving strong response in China, western social platforms see major potential to hook into the same trend to maximize their own product showcase options.

The immediacy, and interactive benefits of live-streaming, combined with eCommerce, could help Twitter take the next step, and it’ll be interesting to see how it looks to evolve the option, and whether Twitter users are open to the new experience.

In addition to this, Twitter also notes that it’s expanding the test of its Shop Module with selected merchants in the US, while it’s also looking to roll out improved catalog ingestion and management processes to facilitate the same.

Eventually, these will all tie into the platform’s Professional Profiles, which could provide another avenue for promoting and selling your products in-stream.

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Twitter Shares New Insights Into Holiday Shopping Trends [Infographic]



The data shows that people are planning earlier, while fashion-related topics are high on the agenda.


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TikTok Announces Fundraising Initiatives for Giving Tuesday, $7m in Direct Donations for Mission-Driven Organizations



TikTok will run a series of live-streams throughout December to highlight various charitable groups and causes.


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Instagram Launches Live Test of Longer Videos in Stories



After it was spotted in testing last month, Instagram has now officially launched a live test of 60-second videos in Stories, which will mean that longer video clips will no longer be split into 15-second segments, and played across various Stories frames.

As noted, last month, app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi shared this message, stored in the back-end code of the app, which is now being displayed to some users in the live environment.

We asked Instagram about the update, and it provided this statement:

The ability to create longer Stories posts comes highly requested by our community. We’re excited to be testing 60-second Stories so that people can create and view Stories with fewer interruptions.” 

Instagram says that the option is currently being tested with a small group of users, with a view to providing more creative freedom, and further integrating the app’s various video options to streamline its creative tools and functions.

Which, really, is the key focus. Back in January, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri flagged a coming consolidation of the app’s video products, with a view to better facilitating creation, and scaling back the platform’s various tools. That started with the merging of its video feed posts into a single format early last month, along with the retirement of the IGTV brand.  

As Mosseri explained to Decoder:

“We’re looking about how we can – not just with IGTV, but across all of Instagram – simplify and consolidate ideas, because last year we placed a lot of new bets. I think this year we have to go back to our focus on simplicity and craft.”

The re-thinking of its approach has been largely influenced by TikTok, which has become the most popular social app among young users, overtaking Instagram as the cool place to be.

Part of TikTok’s core appeal is simplicity – on TikTok, you open to a full-screen feed of video clips and live-streams, with all of it combined into one, optimized, focused listing, tailored to each individual user.

Instagram is far more segmented, with Reels in a separate feed, and Stories in its own section. That could be restricting optimal take-up, which is why Instagram’s now looking to bring all of these elements together, which will also, eventually, enable it to showcase the best of each aspect in a single, more-engaging stream.

The expansion to 60-second video clips in Stories is another step in this gradual merging, which, at some stage, will likely see the app open to a full-screen feed of Stories, feed posts and Reels, all in one, enabling IG, like TikTok, to use the full breadth of uploaded content to maximize user engagement.

It’s still a way off that next stage, but longer videos will mean that users can now post full Reels to Stories, for example, essentially merging the two functions automatically. Then it’s just determining how it shifts from the traditional feed to a more Stories/Reels aligned one instead.

That’s a bigger step, and a more fundamental change for the app. But as part of Meta’s broader focus on winning back younger users, you can bet that it’s coming, and likely sooner, rather than later.

Which is why this new test is a significant step. It’s limited for now, but you can expect to see longer Stories videos coming to your Instagram app sometime soon.


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