Twitter Inc. is testing a way for users to redeem discounts through merchants' tweets, expanding its online commerce efforts.
The microblogging service is using technology from CardSpring Inc., acquired four months ago, that enables linking the deals to credit cards so they can be used later.
The "Twitter Offers" feature is the second major product to help people shop through tweets, following the release of a "buy" button earlier this year. Consumers already use Twitter to discuss what they want to buy and testing these features will help decide the right products to make money off that behavior, said Nathan Hubbard, head of e-commerce for the San Francisco-based company.
"We want to give retailers and businesses and influencers of all kinds the ability to respond to that demand and fulfill it," he said in an interview. "Ultimately we think Twitter can be the platform that takes social relationships and turns them into transactional relationships."
Twitter acquired CardSpring with the goal of getting this "offers" feature to users in time for Black Friday, the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season. The company has been telling investors it is trying to build out products faster, and this is an example of the strategy working, Hubbard said.
The discounts will be embedded within tweets, with a "get offer" button for users to link the promotion with their credit cards. When they make a purchase, the discount will show up on their credit card statements, the company said.