Photo-sharing service Snapchat is investing in Spring, a shopping app launched in August 2014, according to a May 22 story from Re/code. Only three weeks ago, Spring closed a $25 million investment and — after eight months iOS-only — launched an Android version of its app.
Neither Snapchat and Spring, however, have confirmed – nor denied – the deal as of yet.
The brand counts more than 700 fashion brands, including Helmut Lang, Marchesa, Alice and Olivia, Citizens of Humanity, and Rebecca Minkoff.
In 2014, Snapchat launched Snapcash, in partnership with Square, whereby a Snapchat user can register a debit card and easily send money to another Snapchat user. So why not as well allow its users to buy products on its platform? The possibility doesn’t seem that far-fetched.
Twitter and Facebook rolled out their “Buy Buttons” alongside status updates in 2014, while Google announced two weeks ago (May 15) that it was planning on turning its search engine into a shopping marketplace for mobile devices. Pinterest, on the other hand, recently announced there would be no “Buy Buttons,” as the platform is instead choosing to invest in the monetization of its advertisement strategy.
On the other side of the world, China’s Tencent-owned WeChat, has mastered the art of combining a messaging and shopping service all in one. WeChat has secured 500 million monthly active users (MAUs) as of the end of 2014’s fourth quarter successfully enabling its users to buy on its platform since July 2014. To develop its commerce functionalities into WeChat, Tencent did the same as what Snapchat is doing now. After investing in JD.com, China’s second largest eCommerce retailer-following national Goliath Alibaba Tencent integrated its virtual store into the WeChat store.
So as long as WeChat is not going global, there is room for Social Media but also retailer giants (see Oreo maker Mondelez International) to stream their own online commerce strategies into social media platforms. Although a recent Harris poll found users are not very keen on spending money on social media platforms, the general trend now seems to be to at least give it a go.
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