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Will #AmazonCart Breathe New Life Into Twitter?

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced Monday a new shopping mechanism that allows users to place Amazon products in their shopping baskets without leaving their Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) accounts.

Called #AmazonCart, the service first requires users to connect both their Amazon and Twitter accounts. By connecting the accounts, Amazon said, its software would know which shopping basket to place the item in.

The shopping part is simple. Users merely have to reply with #AmazonCart to any tweet that contains an Amazon product link. At that point, the item is placed in the user’s basket, but is not logged as a purchase until the user logs on to Amazon.com and completes the process.

That feature could be seen as an advantage since it gives users some space to reconsider an impulse reaction to a tweet.

Users would receive an email as well as a reply tweet from Amazon containing the status of the order – whether it was actually added to the basket or was out of stock.

The Next Web (TNW) noted the similarity of #AmazonCart to Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA)’s ‘See it’ button, launched last year designed to allow users to watch and record TV shows directly from a tweet.

It’s all part of what TNW called ‘frictionless’ use of Twitter and could not come at a better time for the platform, which has appeared to struggle to cement its identity and usefulness in a crowded social media field.

Amazon’s promotional video explains how the new #AmazonCart service works:

The advantage to Twitter is that users would potentially remain on the platform, continuing to view ads and engaging with other users and Twitter, something in which Twitter needs to show more growth .

For Amazon, Twitter becomes another advertising platform and a convenient way for consumers to make buying decisions.

According to Amazon, Twitter does not receive revenue from items added to consumers’ Amazon shopping carts.

An Amazon spokeswoman told CNET, "We are certainly open to working with other social networks. Twitter in particular offers a great environment for our customers to discover product recommendations from artists, experts, brands, and friends."

One potential hang-up is that fact that since all tweets are public, a consumer who logs a reply to a product ad would be telling the world what they intended to buy. On the other hand, if the idea catches fire, advertisers could start sending out many more tweets with Amazon product links embedded.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.

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