Since Twitter’s initial public offering that has more investors with skin in the game, they have been searching for ways to make the social media giant more profitable. Advertisements alone will not satisfy the shareholders as they continue to expect dividends and rising stock prices, so drumming up revenue is critical to their continued success. Not surprisingly, one of the areas they are looking to branch out is into e-commerce and they are looking to through their hat into the ring immediately.Most people who follow technology trends are probably aware that Jack Dorsey was the founder of Twitter. You may also know that Jack Dorsey is responsible for the remarkably profitable and successful mobile payment company Square, so it may come as a surprise that Twitter will be directly competing against the Square Marketplace. While it is also true that Jack Dorsey is no longer directly associated with the way Twitter is operated, one may assume that blood is thicker than wine and that they would at least extend the courtesy to Square of processing their payments. However, that isn’t the case and Twitter is entertaining bids from a variety of companies including Square’s largest competitor; PayPal.
Twitter isn’t interested in reinventing the wheel, just using their unique and interesting position to leverage more visibility and sales. This means that they aren’t going to waste time by building a system to handle all the payment processing portion of sales, but just a place where users can offer their products in a Twitter storefront. This will cut down on the threat they create to other companies in the same arena while at the same time expatiating the process of getting the project off the ground.
One of the reasons that they are considering using PayPal is because all of the payment processing will be taking place online rather than swiping credit cards. PayPal has millions of more users signed up to make payments online, so they are perfectly suited for the job. Though Square has the same ability as PayPal to handle these types of payments, they are widely seen as a credit card processing company with the main “claim to fame” being their incredibly popular Square Register program that turns an iPad into a touchscreen cash register. If Twitter was looking at having a brick-and-mortar store, Square would probably be a much more viable options.
In the end, business is business and Twitter does not appear to be offering any apologies. Though Jack Dorsey made Twitter what it is today, the company has to answer to thousands of shareholders and not a former CEO and creator. Only time will tell what the future holds for Twitter’s e-commerce ambitions, but it is becoming very clear that Square will likely not have a seat at the big boy table right now.