clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Will People Stop Freaking Out About the Twitter Buy Button?

We might buy this t-shirt right now. Because Mindy Kaling. Courtesy image.
We might buy this t-shirt right now. Because Mindy Kaling. Courtesy image.

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

You'll soon be able to buy stuff on Twitter. And you might be drunk when you do it. Isn't that the worst? Because there are absolutely no other circumstances under which you might drink and buy things online. At least, that's the impression the "buy" button skeptics are giving.

As we mentioned earlier this month, Twitter is experimenting with a "buy" button that lets users make purchases or donate money. Facebook is also testing the e-commerce waters. SFGate explains, "select retailers post information about a product they want to sell on Facebook or Twitter. If customers want to purchase the product, they click the button and enter their credit card information directly on the social networks without having to go to the retailer's website."

But the pub goes on to note the dark side to the buy, quoting Cara Bloomer, who blogged that Twitter's button is "a poor attempt at masking instant gratification with social shopping," and that "your newsfeed will become a sales rack of poorly fitting content and you'll find yourself wondering where you can return it all."

Brad Tuttle at Money similarly warns of bad flash sales products and drunk shopping decisions. "Oftentimes people are quite literally not thinking straight when using social media...Marketers know a scary amount about consumer behavior, to the extent that some will post deals on things like fashion and jewelry late at night—because that's when customers most tempted into buying such stuff are most likely to be drunk."

Look, if drunk shopping stops, then Etsy will probably cease to exist, so we're not willing to offer a solution to that argument. But the Twitter terms and conditions are pretty clear that customers must follow the merchant's instructions for return. Which indicates that instructions do exist and will be accessible when you're reasonably sober. We haven't seen Facebook's buy button terms yet, but —given Facebook's extensive terms of service— we expect nearly identical terms. San Francisco, and the rest of America, are going to survive the buy button. So can we all get back to whining about Candy Crush Saga invites and Mark Zuckerberg's Dolores Heights remodel now?
· Twitter Is Giving Special People a Burberry Buy Button [Racked]
· Is This PR Guru Helping Tech Execs Dress Better? [Racked]