Social Commerce

Twitter May Be The New Way To Pay In India

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The social media platform is now providing its users in India with the ability to use its platform for more than just sharing views and keeping up with the news.

Twitter announced Wednesday (Dec. 23) that it is partnering with on-demand local services platform Lookup to enable users to send a direct message to @lookuplite in order to book appointments, inquire about goods and services and transact with local businesses.

The new capability won’t work in the same way as Twitter’s Buy Button, which utilizes what the company calls “product and place pages” and “product and place collections” to promote specific products with images, video and pricing, as well as an option to buy directly within the social network.

Instead, orders and payments are fulfilled separately and offline with Twitter simply facilitating the conversation, TechCrunch reported. Lookup will use Twitter’s API, as well as its monitoring capabilities, to handle connecting the customer to the prospective merchant.

Lookup, an India-based startup that lets retailers and consumers chat with each other through direct messaging, recently closed $2.5 million in Series A funding. Founded at the tail end of 2014, as of October, Lookup already had 1.2 million registered users, despite only listing merchants from the Indian cities of Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.

Instead of connecting users through phone numbers, Lookup instead uses Google Maps to give users a view of all the retailers in their area. If retailers set up accounts with Lookup, they’ll be able to chat with customers who message them, with bots handling basic inquiries like store hours and product availability.

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