The reason the two inline buying platforms are faring so differently hinges on Twitter’s rules for use of Twitter Cards. Chirpify, formerly known as Sell Simp.ly, doesn’t use them. Ribbon does — or did.
Twitter Cards make it possible to attach or embed rich media content into tweets, such as movies, images, apps, or songs. Songs and movies display on a card called a Player card, and it was this card that Ribbon used to embed a shopping cart experience, Chris Teso, founder and CEO of Chirpify told Bank Innovation.
“A Twitter card is essentially an iframe tag,” Teso said. An iframe allows one web page to be embedded inside another. According to Teso, Twitter’s instructions for use of the cards is very clear, and Ribbon’s shutdown should surprise no one.
Chirpify works on a different model. Users who have registered with the company and entered their credit card or PayPal information can then purchase products with a single click. This is the “inline transaction” that is the gold standard for social payments, since leaving the social media environment is believed to suppress responses. Users reply “Buy” to seller’s tweets, and Chirpify does the rest behind the scenes with its own transaction engine. The company also allows person-to-person payments over social media with instant availability to funds.
Chirpify works with large event venues and charitable organizations, but the idea came to Teso from the small sellers of craft site Etsy.
“I’d notice that Etsy sellers would post a product and immediately tweet about it,” Teso said.
Transaction fees are 5% from the seller’s end of the transaction for small merchants, and 2.9% plus $0.30 for enterprise sellers. The company’s conversion rate is 4%-5%, according to Teso.
Chirpify cut its teeth on Twitter but is now on Facebook and Instagram as well. The company will add the ability to pay with debit cards next month, according to Teso.