Twitter Gets Into E-Commerce: Launches @earlybird Exclusive Offers

On Tuesday Twitter unveiled— appropriately through a tweet— its first foray into selling products: @earlybird Exclusive Offers. The service offers time-bound deals, sneak-peeks, and events that are promoted by the official Twitter @earlybird account. Twitter will partner with advertisers who will determine the terms of the offer, including availability, amount, and price. In exchange, Twitter will earn revenue through its relationships with the advertisers, and it will experiment with different models, such as taking a cut of each sale or earning a fixed amount for each deal.

The concept is similar to services offered by private and limited-time sale sites, such as Gilt and Groupon. It is also similar to what companies such as Dell are doing, posting deals on Twitter. Last year, Dell reported that it had earned $3 million in revenue directly through Twitter since 2007, when it started posting coupons and word of new products on the microblogging site.

The service will initially be offered nationwide, but Twitter is considering expanding the service, offering deals specific to cities, countries, or product categories, such as apparel or gadgets.

Additional Source: Twitter Gets Into E-Commerce, Bits, New York Times.