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Mark Dalton specialises in social media and digital marketing news. You can find him on Twitter here.

Twitter wants you to shop while you tweet. It is hardly much of a surprise, we have been reporting on Twitter entering this market over the past few months however the testing has been confirmed as taking place for the first time.

Starting this week, a select amount of users in the US will see the buttons appearing in the iOS and Android apps. Twitter says that taking part in the test will get offers and merchandise not available elsewhere and users will be able to complete transactions in simply a number of taps.

Accounts such as Burberry, DonorsChoose and Pharrell will be some of the brands taking part and featuring a ‘buy button’ in their Twitter feeds and tweets. Product manager Tarun Jain said that;

This is an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun

The large social networks have all dabbled in online shopping so far, last year Twitter partnered with Amazon to let users add items to their Amazon shopping cart by simply using a hashtag. Facebook has also been testing a feature which allows advertisers sell products directly through ads on the social network site and Pinterest users have demonstrated they are interested in buying products they pin on their boards.

For all the efforts made so far by social networks, most pushes to get people shopping using social media have not taken off. Twitter says that payment and shipping information is encrypted but it will also store information made after the first transaction which you have to manually remove if you wish.

With all the talk of social media sites wanting to offer services for people to buy products through them the real question right now, “Is the demand actually there for such services?”

Time will soon tell if the future of shopping is to actually take place through a social media website, and with Apple introducing Apple Pay with the iPhone 6, who knows where mobile payments could end up in the future.

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