The @earlybird Gets the Deal

July 12, 2010

Twitter will now offer time-sensitive deals on products and events.


A journalist's work is never done. In the "Social Media 101" feature in the July issue of Gifts & Decorative Accessories, I reported that  "Advertising on Twitter is so new that it's still being tested by only a handful of large brands." That was true "at press time", as we say in the trade. But before the ink was even dry and the issues mailed, Twitter had released something new. Called @earlybird Exclusive Offers, they will appear on the @earlybird Twitter account, according to the New York Times.


Retailers will determine the price of the items and how many are available. But retailers will have a strong incentive to sweeten the pot: Twitter stressed that it would be selective about which deals were offered. Twitter will earn money from the sales. It is experimenting with different models, like a cut of each sale or a fixed price per deal. The retailers will collect shoppers' credit card numbers and otherwise fulfill the transaction.


Deals will initially be nationwide, but Twitter is considering offering deals specific to cities or countries later on. In the future, Twitter could also filter deals by category.