“We’re the only company truly doing social commerce.” That’s the bold comment made by Chris Teso, CEO of Chirpify, amid the news that his company can now integrate in-stream payments with Instagram as well as Twitter. PYMNTS.com spoke with Teso to discuss his statement, why Instagram was an attractive next target for his company, and why redirects in social commerce may soon be a thing of the past.
We often think of social commerce as a broad field, with numerous players and constant innovation driving the industry.
According to Chris Teso, chief executive officer of Chirpify, true social commerce isn’t a broad field at all. In fact, he believes his company is the only one truly engaging in it.
PYMNTS.com spoke to Teso to discuss why he believes Chirpify is unique, what’s currently missing from the social commerce scene and his company’s new integration with Instagram.
“There’s a lot of companies out there that tout they’re working on social commerce, but what they’re really working on is social advertising,” Teso explained. “So every other company that talks about social commerce is really just inserting a link that links out of a social network or out of a social platform, into a traditional ecommerce flow. That link is really just an ad – its not commerce, it doesn’t transact, and it doesn’t convert in-stream.”
And that, noted Teso, is where Chirpify is different. By replying with the word “buy” on Twitter, or, with today’s news, by commenting on the listing with the word “buy” on Instagram, Chiprify users can directly purchase items through their synced PayPal accounts.
It’s that one-action, in-stream payments function that, in Teso’s estimation, is what lets Chirpify serve as a true social commerce company.
“The whole impetus behind the idea was I noticed that people were selling a lot of things online, and what they would do is go to different marketplaces, such as Etsy or Craiglist or eBay, and they would list their items for sale, and then inevitably tweet about them,” Teso explained.
“As they do that, they’re redirecting a user, and with every click, conversion percentages go down. And I said if we can eliminate shopping carts, eliminate check out processes and give you the ability to list and pay on the same platform you’re having conversations on, I thought that would be a really powerful tool. And it has been.”
As of today, Chirpify can only be used on Twitter and Instagram, and users can only pay via their PayPal accounts. But Teso says he’s seen the demand to expand both aspects of Chirpify, and that new payments methods and new sites should be added to Chirpify in the not-too-distant future.
“Our whole concept is to really decentralize commerce across all social networks and the web in general,” Teso added. “So I think in the future you’ll see us moving to other platforms and adding those payments options.”
To hear more Teso on Chirpify’s future plans, listen to the full podcast below.
The former founder of an interactive services and product incubator, Chris Teso now has his sights set on transforming Instagram and Twitter into social commerce platforms as CEO and Founder of Chirpify.
Teso has a wealth of experience in the interactive domain that is seldom rivaled and has spoken at high-profile conferences including Flash Forward and Mashable’s Under The Radar. In his past life as an Interactive developer he was recognized with Emmy, Clio, Mobius, Webby and Andy awards for work on brands like Progressive Insurance, ESPN, and Activision.
Teso is also an accomplished freelance photographer with works published in international magazines.