Slideshow 8 'Buy Buttons' Baked Into Big Platforms

  • July 17 2015, 9:05am EDT
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Major tech companies are building payment capabilities into their mobile apps, social networks and other offerings. These projects coincide with a rise in mobile commerce, potentially creating a new standard for how consumers shop.


Google’s "buy button" enables retailers to sell goods directly from the ads that appear in search results on mobile devices. In this model, Google hosts the product page, but the retailer owns the customer communication.

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Facebook has been testing its own "buy button" for about a year, and recently expanded the technology through the Shopify e-commerce platform. The new arrangement allows U.S.-based Shopify merchants to sell items through Facebook's social networking site.


Twitter's "buy button" follows the many efforts of other companies attempting to sell items through its microblogging platform (sometimes in violation of Twitter's own policies). Twitter's homegrown "buy button" uses technology from Stripe and Gumroad.


PayPal is building out the "One Touch" purchasing technology it obtained from its 2013 purchase of Braintree and Venmo. The technology was designed for Venmo's person-to-person payments app, and PayPal is bringing it to a wider market.

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Pinterest, an image-sharing social network, debuted a Buyable Pins feature in June based on technology from Stripe, PayPal's Braintree and Shopify. Its strategy is to facilitate purchases through the Pinterest mobile app.


Instagram revealed its "Shop Now" button for promotional images in June. The photo-sharing platform, owned by Facebook, added the feature to streamline the process of promoting products through its app.

Apple Pay and Android Pay

Apple Pay and Android Pay both play up the "wow" factor of making in-store payments by waving a phone in front of a point of sale terminal, but they also function as "buy buttons" for any apps on the iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

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Snapchat's payment capabilities are currently limited to person-to-person payments, using technology from Square. But just as PayPal sought to bring Venmo's P2P tech to a wider audience, Snapchat and Square could push to expand their own capabilities.