Monday, May 18, 2009

Twitpay Launches Retweet Commerce

Twitpay is one of the success stories to come out of Atlanta Startup Weekend 2. When it launched, it looked like a "PayPal for Twitter" service. Like anything associated with Twitter these days, the startup got a ton of great press for their launch.

Now we find out that over the past couple of months, its team has been working on a more comprehensive commercial offering of Twitter commerce tools called the Retweet Commerce Suite. Twitpay officially announced its first offering in the Suite last week, RT2Buy (short for "retweet to buy"), a service that enables content creators to publish and sell their digital media (ebooks, music, videos, photos, etc.) through Twitter.

While this could be a good B2C tool for bands and artists looking to sell their music or videos online, many of those users are still trying to figure out MySpace. Then again, RT2Buy is a lot easier to set up than a MySpace page or standalone website. It's really the online version of "Hey, I've Got Some CDs for Sale if You Want One", something struggling artists are used to.

Personally, I see a lot more potential on the B2B side of the equation for RT2Buy. There are a lot of experts out there selling all sorts of guides and ebooks that have a hard time pulling traffic to their sites. With RT2Buy, provided they have a following, they can publish and sell their work right through Twitter.

In addition to RT2Buy, Twitpay plans to launch two new services for the Retweet Commerce Suite very soon:
  • RT2Get - offering to help organizations run promotions and social media campaigns on Twitter. This will be very popular among marketing and PR agencies that are seeing a lot of interest for Twitter programs right now.
  • RT2Give - offering to help non-profits energize support and manage donations through Twitter. This is a great idea. While a lot of non-profits have found success on Twitter on their own so far, RT2Give helps the less advanced non-profits - big and small - to run fundraising efforts through Twitter.
While Twitpay will continue to offer its person-to-person tweet payments service, the Retweet Commerce Suite seems to have much more potential as a viable business model. We've only begun to see the ways people may choose to interact and transact through Twitter, and Twitpay is right in the middle of all the opportunity.

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