Social networking companies are busy striving to make commerce happen on their platforms. Earlier at LI we reported about Facebook’s new buy button that would allow users to buy products within the network. Facebook’s competitor Twitter has given a big push to its commerce initiatives by acquiring payments infrastructure company CardSpring. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Twitter stated on its blog – “We’re excited to announce we’ve agreed to acquire CardSpring, a payments infrastructure company that helps merchants work with leading publishers to create online-to-offline promotions.”
With this acquisition, Twitter hopes to bring in-the-moment commerce experiences to Twitter users. “As we work on the future of commerce on Twitter, we’re confident the CardSpring team and the technology they’ve built are a great fit with our philosophy regarding the best ways to bring in-the-moment commerce experiences to our users.”
Founded by former Netscape engineers, CardSpring is an application platform that lets developers build card-linked offers electronic coupons, loyalty cards, and virtual currencies that work with credit cards and other types of payments.
It had raised over $10M from Greylock Partners, Accel Partners, Morado Venture Partners, SV Angel, Data Collective, John Hering, Felicis Ventures, and Webb Investment Network.
The startup has revealed the acquisition news on its blog while hinting that Twitter might keep the service open.
“We see the intersection of payments and digital media as an opportunity to revolutionize how consumers use credit and debit cards, while helping retailers to connect and communicate with their offline shoppers – much in the same way the Internet has enabled online stores to create relationships with their online customers. When we started talking with the Twitter commerce team, we quickly realized our philosophies were perfectly aligned, and by joining them, we’d be able to significantly accelerate our vision.”
The latest acquisition is an indicator to Twitter’s earnestness towards driving commerce on its platform. It already is giving users the ability to get deals and discounts and even add items to their online shopping cart — all directly from a tweet.
With CardSpring now being acquired by Twitter, it might want to enable card-linked offers that it had launched for merchants to easily create campaigns, connect apps like Foursquare, Thanx, MOGL, OnStripe and others. While a user can obtain an offer right from a tweet by entering her credit card details, merchants will get analytics on the offer. This could enable Twitter to facilitate online-to-offline promotions for local businesses.
Going further Twitter might bring the option to store credit card details for reducing the number of steps for lazy users. This also gives an opportunity to Twitter to study users’ buying behavior.
Twitter’s commerce initiatives are facing a stiff competition from Facebook. Facebook’s latest Buy Button feature by which it is testing ‘a few’ small and medium-sized businesses in the US to drive sales directly through Facebook via News Feed ads and Page posts, is the closest match with Twitter’s initiatives.