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Chirpify introduces social commerce to Twitter
Chirpify is a tool that integrates with PayPal allowing Twitter users to transact (buy, sell or fundraise) in a single tweet. This could turn Twitter into a social commerce platform as well as a real-time news and information network.
Chirpify was originally known as ‘Sell Simply’ but relaunched under its new name thanks to Portland-based startup investor Upstart Labs, who offered the fledgling company $50K in seed funding. The investment company rebranded Sell Simply as Chirpify and added better functionality to the social commerce tool.
How does it work?
Chirpify integrates PayPal to create secure transactions in a single tweet. A user can simply tweet ‘@Charityname donate £2’ and the transaction will made through PayPal instantly – it’s scarily quick but Chirpify founder Chris Teso assures us it’s a safe and secure way to make a payment.
The quickness of the sale is appealing but many people have security issues with buying online and do people want to broadcast what they’re buying on Twitter? Who knows? For charities and NFPs this could be a brilliant platform to fundraise and collect donations, I know I’d be willing to donate through this method rather than filling in personal information and card details to make a small donation.
Users are never charged for making a donation but the recipient will be charged depending on what type of account they sign up for: basic, pro or enterprise. Chirpify receives 2% commission on basic and pro accounts but with an enterprise account a monthly or annual fee is agreed. The extra fees could be a problem for recipients, especially if they are already paying Paypal fees; companies would need to work out if the exposure on Twitter gave them a big enough return on investment.
The Chirpify API integrates with PayPal business accounts and Magento, a popular ecommerce platform, to allow brands to list items for sale, schedule tweets and receive payments through their CMS.
Sending and receiving real-time payments in a tweet is a great concept, but will users want to use Twitter for social commerce?
Tweet-a-beer was the first third party application to utilise the Chirpify API, the mobile beer buying application allows users to buy their fellow followers a beer in a tweet. First you have to authenticate your Twitter account with Chirpify and once you are connected you can add your @recipient and send $5 to their Paypal account (to spend on beer, obviously). The recipient will receive a tweet mention with your name followed by a link showing them how they can claim their beer money. The web tool was plugged at South by Southwest; the perfect place for web-savvy people to unite over an alcoholic bevvy.
What do you think of Chirpify? Would you use this tool to purchase something or make a donation using Twitter?