Payments startup Ribbon announced new “in-stream” payments on Twitter, allowing users to click a button directly within a tweet in order to make purchases. Ninty minutes after this announcement, Twitter shut down the service.
Ribbon, which is something of a “bit.ly for payments,” previously allowed Twitter users to click and link and be redirected to a separate page offering a simple, one-page checkout experience. But today, it introduced a new, more integrated option for payments, which took advantage of Twitter Card functionality to allow for payment processing directly on Twitter.com.
On an expanded tweet, users could just click a “Buy Now” button, enter their email and credit-card info, then click “Pay.” The entire checkout experience took place on Twitter.com itself – the idea being that by not redirecting you off-site like PayPal does, merchants can increase their conversion rates.
TechCrunch believes the service was squashed so quickly because it violates Twitter’s Terms of Service. However, I’m surprised how fast, and how drastically, Twitter reacted to the situation. I think it’s such a seamless experience that Twitter shouldn’t be stopping it – and am curious why they want to stop users from completing a transaction entirely on their site.