Twitter's Buy button is finally beginning to find its most natural use: Selling live-event tickets on short notice. On Monday morning (April 20), the NBA's Atlanta Hawks tweeted that the team would sell a limited number of tickets to Wednesday's game straight from Twitter, Re/code reported.
The tweet is no longer in the basketball team's Twitter stream, presumably because the tickets quickly sold out. Fans who caught the deal in time were able to select ticket quantity and pay with a credit or debit card without leaving Twitter -- and by Monday evening the allotment of Twitter tix was gone.
Given that the Hawks -- like most U.S. professional sports teams -- have an active and avid following on Twitter, it's a logical way to move tickets, especially on an eleventh-hour basis. Other live events, including a heavy-metal concert tour, have also offered flash ticket sales, but not at the last minute.
When Twitter announced the Buy button in September, movie and concert tickets were expected to be in the first wave of items sold that way, in part because the head of Twitter's commerce division is former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard. The NBA playoff tickets seem to have been more successful, though.
Twitter wouldn't comment on how much it made on each $45 Hawks ticket in the flash sale, but Re/code said Twitter doesn't currently take a cut of ticket sales, citing a "a person familiar with the initiative."
In January, Twitter was reported to be expecting to take a very small fee per sale, in the range of 85 cents -- about one-quarter of Facebook's cut when it sells tickets on its site.
But Twitter was also expecting a slow ramp-up for Buy-enabled tweets. "I don’t see a whole lot of people fully converting on bigger purchase items that involve a more complex decision process," Twitter marketing manager Ori Carmel said in January. "That will take a little bit more time. And of course, Apple Pay is going to accelerate all that."