Twitter on Wednesday abruptly shut down a new product from Ribbon that allows people to make purchases without leaving Twitter’s site.

Ribbon, a payments startup, introduced the service a few hours earlier. Users would click a “buy now” button, enter their email and credit card information, and click “pay.” Since the consumer is not redirected to another site, Ribbon was planning to sell the service as an alternative to PayPal.   

Ribbon didn’t immediately know why the service had been shut down. Twitter did not answer a request for comment by deadline.

“We are currently trying to contact Twitter to get more information,” says Daniel Brusilovsky, head of business development for Ribbon, who confirmed the shutdown.

The company planned to post a blog on Wednesday evening to discuss the situation, Brusilovsky says.

Ribbon also provides in-stream payments on Facebook—and on Wednesday announced an integration with YouTube. YouTube partners can include Ribbon URLs directly in YouTube videos through the Merchant Annotations function. These URLs will link to Ribbon checkout pages.

Other companies that use social media to execute payments include Chirpify, which started with Twitter and Instagram. Chirpify recently integrated with Facebook to allow users to move money and make purchases by typing a comment on their news feed. Chirpify has an unusual model—it facilities payments almost entirely over social media—for most companies, social media payments are a component of a larger digital strategy.

American Express is also working with Twitter to expand its cardholders’ ability to shop over the social networking site, and Dwolla allows user to send money via tweets.


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