Social commerce startup Chirpify’s service creates a direct channel between merchants and customers within Twitter and Instagram. To purchase an item, followers simply reply or comment “buy” to a listing.

It only takes a tweet to buy and sell online


While e-commerce has gained much with the adoption of social media, it still has suffered from lack of a completely seamless experience. Products, services and crowdfunding all have to be separated from the consumer by at least one link, one click, and one shopping cart checkout. Chirpify replaces these actions - when members of its service see a participating post, they simply reply “buy” (or “donate,” if appropriate). Initially launched as a Twitter shopping solution, the Portland-based service has recently expanded to support popular photo-sharing social network Instagram. By positioning direct purchase content in-stream, social media could prove to be a more efficient shopping channel for consumers.

A buy-and-sell system within the social media stream…

Vendors have two choices for posting listings - the dashboard and the Instagram stream. On the web-based dashboard, Chirpify clients can choose which social streams to publish in, as well as price, quantity and type of product. Alternatively, clients can post an item within the Instagram app with relevant tags and Chirpify will create the dashboard listing. Whichever method they choose, the financial transaction operates “within” the media stream. For instance, in the case of the Green Day album: “Get it now + all 3 new GD albums, deal ends tmrw Reply “buy” for $29.99 via @Chirpify.” In Instagram, users post an image of the product - a poster for example, and title it “Comment ‘buy’ to purchase for $20 via @Chirpify.” Chirpify members can reply on Twitter or comment on the Instagram image with the word “buy.” Then, the customers are charged through their Paypal account.

…Creating an actual commerce solution

Chirpify has two basic pricing structures - its free Basic service charges 5 percent per transaction, while its paid Enterprise service includes several features for businesses. Enterprise clients can create promotional and coupon code campaigns, giveaways, as well can access metrics. With the flexibility of these structures, as well as easy implementation with no extra device needed. Add the increased visual impact of Instagram for moving physical goods, and Chirpify may provide the infrastructure necessary to create a viable, efficient commerce channel completely within social networks.

By Ivory King