It was bound to happen eventually – a social network that lets you make purchases, donate to charities and sell items simply by commenting on a photo or replying to a tweet. It is easy to see the appeal of a platform that allows fast, hassle free transactions to be made within the social space; however for many of us, the idea is also somewhat scary.
The concept has actually been around for a while, but is only now starting to emerge into the spotlight. In 2011, Chris Teso launched Sell Simp.ly with the goal to capitalise on the ever-growing popularity of social media by operating as a platform for social commerce. Sell Simp.ly saw some success and a lot of potential, so in an attempt to uncover that potential Chris Teso joined forces with Upstart Labs and Sell Simp.ly re-launched as Chirpify.
Since it was re-branded, Chirpify has grown and evolved. No longer limited to Twitter, the platform also allows social commerce through Instagram, a clever tactic as Instagram’s popularity is growing at an incredible rate.
As far as payment security goes, Chirpify payments are handled by PayPal, which offers protection for both buyers and sellers. As is always the case, with Chirpify there are two sides to the story: those who will use the platform to make money and those who will use it to spend money.
For those who are advertising or selling products or services, Chirpify makes a lot of sense. Social media has already made significant changes to the marketing process, and social commerce is bringing it to a whole new level. Attracting customers to a website is no longer the only way to generate sales online, as Chirpify takes the product or service to the customers and makes the buying process so much simpler.
Another benefit that social commerce offers sellers is the ability to schedule their posts, allowing a steady stream of listings to reach customers throughout the day.
But what does it cost? That’s a key question when deciding if this avenue will bring the revenue. Setting up an account is free and Chirpify charge 5% of the total transaction value every time you get paid.
Chirpify makes a lot of sense for businesses, when you are the one selling it has a lot of obvious advantages, but what about when you are the one buying?
This brings me back to what I mentioned before about it being somewhat scary. The immediacy and ease of making a purchase seems like a dangerous trap for anyone with a tendency to buy on impulse, and what happens if your Twitter account gets hacked?
There are obvious benefits that Chirpify offers buyers, such as friction free purchases and the ability to send money to friends easily. There are no fees involved for buyers and for some, being able to make a purchase or donate funds without leaving Twitter or Instagram is very appealing.
Chirpify have addressed some concerns regarding security on their website stating that, “if there’s a problem with your order, you’re protected. PayPal offers buyers: $0 Liability for Eligible Unauthorised Purchases. Refunds for incorrect orders or items that never arrive.” However, Twitter is not the most secure social network, with people getting hacked quite frequently. It will be interesting to see how Chirpify takes off and if buyers are willing to take the risk.
While the advantages of Chirpify are clear for businesses as it enables them to take their products and services directly to the customers and monetise their social media activities, there are still a fair few concerns for buyers surrounding the linking of their social accounts to PayPal. This is certainly a platform to watch closely and it will be interesting to see how the social community embraces it.