Thursday, April 11, 2013

Twitter Shuts Down Ribbon’s In-Stream Payments, A Third-Party Developer!! -- (Details)


Twitter Shuts Down Ribbon’s In-Stream Payments, a Third-Party Developer!! -- This morning, payments startup Ribbon announced support for “in-stream” payments on Twitter.com, allowing users to click a button directly within a tweet in order to make a purchase without having to leave the Twitter.com website. However, it appears that Twitter has already shut this feature down – almost immediately after its public debut. Ribbon Co-founder Hany Rashwan has confirmed that Twitter has indeed shut them down, and the company is now in the process of trying to contact Twitter to discuss.

We’ve also reached out to Twitter with questions, and will update if and when we hear back. It’s possible that the way Ribbon implemented the in-stream payments using Twitter Cards (via the Player Card model) was a violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service. What’s interesting is how quickly Twitter reacted to the situation, which makes one wonder who might have brought the violation, or issue, to Twitter’s attention.

For background, 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. However, now those same tweets no longer offer in-stream checkout, but instead point users to click a “view on web” link taking them to the Ribbon.co checkout page. You can see the new and current (degraded) experiences in the screenshots below.

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