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Twitter, American Express Letting People Purchase Goods Via Hashtag

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the this-doesn't-need-to-be-a-thing dept.

Social Networks 106

Nerval's Lobster writes "What could possibly go wrong with this? American Express has announced a partnership with Twitter, giving customers the ability to sync "eligible cards" with the social network. Tweeting special product hashtags (i.e., #uselessjunk) will purchase a product via that synced card. American Express will then send a purchase-confirmation Tweet, and the usual shipping-and-handling of the product will commence. For Twitter, the partnership also holds significant advantages. If this initial foray succeeds, it could potentially evolve into a workable e-commerce model, and thus a separate stream of revenue for the social network aside from advertising. Also, research has shown that people tend to spend more money when using credit cards as opposed to cash. It's also quite possible that a streamlined online purchase mechanism—think any number of e-commerce Websites' "Buy Now" buttons—could compel potential customers to buy more often and in larger amounts."

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106 comments

Purchasing #uselessjunk (5, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875495)

Are you telling me that Packard-Bell is back in business?

Re:Purchasing #uselessjunk (2)

mysidia (191772) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878785)

Are you telling me that Packard-Bell is back in business?

I think there should be a large number of things waiting at your doorstep in a few days, if you tweet #uselessjunk one.

You don't get just a Packard Bell... you also get yourself an Apple Newton, an Apple Lisa, a Sony Betamax, a Zune, a copy of Microsoft Windows ME, a copy of Microsoft Bob, a copy of Windows Vista, a copy of Windows 8, a Microsoft Surface, a Laserdisc Player, an Apple Lisa, an IBM PC JR, a pile of 8-track tapes, a Minidisc player, a Web TV; a Blackberry playbook, a Virtualboy, .....

Re:Purchasing #uselessjunk (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878989)

Wow that much cool stuff? Damn I need to hurry up and tweet #uselessjunk before they run out.

Seeing how secure Twitter is... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875511)

Seeing how secure Twitter is, what could possibly go wrong?

Re:Seeing how secure Twitter is... (2)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875569)

Can you imagine those vizagra bots, with hashtags to purchase said vizagra, and a high priority of hijacking malware to get you to retweet hashtags that purchase vizagra?

As Bubsy the Cat put it, what could possibly go wrong?

Re:Seeing how secure Twitter is... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876107)

There's definitely the opportunity to do so now...

Re:Seeing how secure Twitter is... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875669)

did u c the new BMW commercial? Wow! #BMW

about 10 seconds later ... Your new BMW will be delivered on Thursday. Congrats and Enjoy! #MSRP

Re:Seeing how secure Twitter is... (3)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875885)

Seeing how secure Twitter is, what could possibly go wrong?

Exactly so.
Twitter and security don't even fit in the same sentence. Everything you do or say on twitter is available world wide to anyone that cares to listen. This is the worst possible platform on which to do anything that might cost you money. When you tell the world that you just ordered that toy, at least some of those people will watch your door step for you.

Re:Seeing how secure Twitter is... (2)

tibit (1762298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876099)

Here, you have to explicitly tweet (or retweet) a particular hashtag, and you have to have your card preauthorized. I still think it's a bit risky of a proposition, but at least it's trivial not to opt-in. What will happen is that the "particular hashtag", or rather "costly hashtag" space will become polluted, and the negative outcomes of this feature will get so much public outcry that it'll get dropped quickly -- or so one hopes.

Alas, I had to double check the calendar, I thought it was April 1st already...

Re:Seeing how secure Twitter is... (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878737)

Twitter had a huge account-compromising break in, what, a MONTH ago? And now they want us to trust them with our credit history?!?

Perfectly safe ATM (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876435)

Pun intended. TFA did say the tweet-to-order scheme requires the use of a special "synced" card. So as long as you don't acquire that special card distinct from your primary card, then you're safe.

If this becomes successful and gets deployed beyond this special arrangement, then I see the potential for abuse as a target of crackers and possibly shady commercial interests. Imagine Company X purchasing the hashtag #companyxeatschildren to indicate your interest in purchasing Product X. This would effectively kill the hashtag for critics of Company X. Alternatively, of course, this also opens the possibility for an Anonymous-style DDOS attack of bogus orders.

Re:Seeing how secure Twitter is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876579)

Fill in the blanks:

A ____ and his _____ are soon parted.

Eh (3, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875519)

I'm not sure I understand. How does one browse products via twitter, or if one isn't in twitter, why would one use it rather than the purchase channel of the site they are on?

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875685)

your right - its currently a flaw in the masterplan.
They're working on it tho.

#fookenstoopididea, etc.

Re:Eh (4, Funny)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875905)

They're working on it tho.

#fookenstoopididea, etc.

I can't wait to see what you just bought.

Re:Eh (3, Funny)

k3vlar (979024) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876231)

300 shares of each Blackberry/Apple/Microsoft/Oracle

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876651)

Shares in American Express?

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875737)

It's for advertisers to be able to advertise a product on twitter, and then for people to be able to buy the product immediately.

Re:Eh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875793)

It's for advertisers to be able to advertise a product on twitter, and then for people to be able to buy the product immediately.

Doesn't that violate Amazon's 'one click' patent? Buying crap with one click is exactly what that one is all about.

Re:Eh (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875901)

Takes several clicks to tweet a hashtag, or even retweet one.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876131)

Thank goodness I don't know this.

Re:Eh (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876123)

I agree. This is far from one click. First you tweet hashtag, for example #BuyGiftCard. Then you wait god knows how long to receive confirmation in twitter.com/mentions, then you are supposed to tweet confirmation, for example #ConfirmGiftCard.
Tried the system yesterday to get free cash with my amex cards and fake twitter accounts I use exclusively for these AMEX promotions. They had $25 AMEX giftcards for $15 this time.
Time for confirmation ranged from seconds to hours for 5 transactions I did. This really sucks donkey balls because you are supposed to tweet your confirmation within 15 minutes of buy hashtag confirmation by AMEX.

Re:Eh (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878811)

Ah, but Amazon's patent covers clicking; it doesn't cover typing a hashtag in... Or well technically that's a click for each letter in the hash tag.

Re:Eh (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875771)

I'm not sure I understand. How does one browse products via twitter, or if one isn't in twitter, why would one use it rather than the purchase channel of the site they are on?

I thought it was meant more for advertisements - you see an advertisement on the bus shelter for a fancy new umbrella and at the bottom it says "Tweet #BuyThisFancyNewUmbrella" to buy one today!"

I don't think it's something I'd ever use (I turned off one-click purchases on my Amazon account since I don't need the purchase process to be that streamlined), but I can see why advertisers would find it attractive.

Re:Eh (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876371)

Advertisers are morons. I work with them all day and they just don't have a clue how the real world works. What will happen is they'll have an awesome first month... then, slowly, the company will come to realize the majority of those purchases were either mistakes, scams or outright theft. By the time they realize their mistake the people that came up with the idea will have already collected their commissions/bonus and will have moved on to their next hair-brained idea or even a new company.

Re:Eh (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876801)

Advertisers are morons. I work with them all day and they just don't have a clue how the real world works. What will happen is they'll have an awesome first month... then, slowly, the company will come to realize the majority of those purchases were either mistakes, scams or outright theft. By the time they realize their mistake the people that came up with the idea will have already collected their commissions/bonus and will have moved on to their next hair-brained idea or even a new company.

You must work with different marking people than I do. In my company, they can tell you with surprising accuracy how well an advertising campaign is doing (with numbers verified through several independent sources), including exactly how much it cost for each new sale and how many sales were cannibalized from other channels.

Re:Eh (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878977)

How much does it cost them for that level of accuracy and do they include that in their ROI numbers?

Accuracy ain't cheap.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42879811)

the company will come to realize the majority of those purchases were either mistakes

You realize that a person would have to "mistakenly" explicitly activate this functionality, then "mistakenly" explicitly tweet the appropriate hashtag, and then "mistakenly" not notice the confirmation tweet, right?

scams or outright theft.

You also realize that the scammer or thief would have to explicitly partner with American Express, and be vetted by them, to pull this off, right?

Everyone here seems to be shitting on the idea for security reasons, but that's just stupid. Go ahead and shit on the idea because it's lame, but it's really not as bad from an abuse perspective as everyone is making it out to be. Realistically, what will happen with this is that a few people will try it out, then once the novelty has worn off it will be forgotten, and they'll quietly discontinue the service.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42879147)

All everyone does on slashdot these days is complain about technology. You act like a bunch of #hugeblackdildos

Didn't work. (5, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875523)

I tried #blowjobs and nothing happened.

Re:Didn't work. (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875921)

I tried #blowjobs and nothing happened.

Perhaps there's a problem with the Shipping and Handling - well the Shipping anyway.

Re:Didn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875991)

you didn't bend over far enough.

Re:Didn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876417)

Two large men burst down your door. One holds you down while the other rips off your pants........well you get the rest.

Re:Didn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876557)

Wrong tag.

Try #escort_blonde_blowjob . Needs multiple item clarification.

Re:Didn't work. (1)

Rary (566291) | about a year and a half ago | (#42879839)

I tried #blowjobs and nothing happened.

Could be worse. You could've received one of these [5secondfilms.com] .

Re:Didn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42879987)

You do realize that the product is delivered by a hairy sweaty UPS guy?

#jessica_alba (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875529)

#porn

Irresponsible economics at its finest (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875545)

could compel potential customers to buy more often and in larger amounts.

Gee, wasn't spam supposed to do that? Businesses who go after impulse purchases like this are a danger to the foolish and an annoyance to everyone else. A credit card company should not be trying to create economic activity, only to facilitate pre-existing activity or pre-existing needs that are encumbered by technological and social boundaries. This crosses the line into monstrous.

Re:Irresponsible economics at its finest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876033)

HAH! You're implying that these companies give even the slightest of two shits about people in general, that's cute. Danger to the foolish == Easy money. Annoyance to everyone else == Sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of my fourth yacht being chromed thanks to the foolish.

Re:Irresponsible economics at its finest (3, Insightful)

tibit (1762298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876157)

I agree, but I don't know what fantasyland do you currently live in where credit card companies are not trying to create economic activity. People wouldn't be able to buy the crap they can't afford if it wasn't for pocketable credit, a.k.a. credit cards. In other words: the credit card companies were creating economic activity almost since day one, by allowing the gullible to buy stuff they can't afford. This hashtag purchase option just further lowers the bar that is already too low. IMHO it'll only be used by the most clueless -- those who are easiest to exploit by the system anyway. The whole idea is basically just to further exploit the underprivileged, as those are the ones vastly most likely to buy stuff they can't afford. It's not even shafting the little people, it's shafting the poorest of the little people. It is monstrous, but it's not new.

Re:Irresponsible economics at its finest (1)

SillyHamster (538384) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876865)

I agree, but I don't know what fantasyland do you currently live in where credit card companies are not trying to create economic activity. People wouldn't be able to buy the crap they can't afford if it wasn't for pocketable credit, a.k.a. credit cards. In other words: the credit card companies were creating economic activity almost since day one, by allowing the gullible to buy stuff they can't afford. This hashtag purchase option just further lowers the bar that is already too low. IMHO it'll only be used by the most clueless -- those who are easiest to exploit by the system anyway. The whole idea is basically just to further exploit the underprivileged, as those are the ones vastly most likely to buy stuff they can't afford. It's not even shafting the little people, it's shafting the poorest of the little people. It is monstrous, but it's not new.

How many underprivileged people have AmEx cards *and* Internet access?

AmEx cards are accepted at fewer locations, and my experience has been that AmEx cards tend to charge membership fees - while many Visa/MC offers do not. In short, I don't expect AmEx to be a credit card the "underprivileged" use, or something they could be easily exploited on.

Re:Irresponsible economics at its finest (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year and a half ago | (#42877449)

AmEx may not be a credit card for the "underprivileged", but it certainly used to be the employer of choice for the terminally stupid in the computer field. In 1998-99 I converted my employer's data transfers from shipping 9-track tapes all over to modem transfers or encrypted email. The only exception was American Express, which insisted that I drop the file, unencrypted, without even a password on the zip file, into a folder on their anonymous FTP site. Really.

I brought this particular piece of stupidity up to my boss, who declared that we would not be moving away from the tapes until they had provided at least some minimal level of security. Then their last 9-track tape drive died (they said), so we started FedEx'ing them CDs every month instead.

Re:Irresponsible economics at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42880303)

Yep I dropped my AmEx card because I couldn't use it in most of the online purchases I needed a card for.
Well, I also dropped it because their accounting practices were too hard to keep up with and they kept charging me massive fees for shit I could not understand. Fraudulent was the term that came to mind

Re:Irresponsible economics at its finest (1)

rjstanford (69735) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876201)

Gee, wasn't spam supposed to do that?

Yes. And the reason that it continues to be an issue is that it works. Not much, but far in excess of the cost and burden to the spammer.

Whoa, dude (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875557)

I need you to clarify, when you tweeted #dell were you interested in buying Dell's new $50 thumbstick computer, or DELL (NASDAQ) for 24.4 billion USD?

- Steve

Re:Whoa, dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42881275)

Is it warm there, Steve?

Hackers wet dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875589)

... and the price of hacked Twitter accounts just went up by 1000. I'm glad I don't use it.

Re:Hackers wet dream! (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875799)

... and the price of hacked Twitter accounts just went up by 1000. I'm glad I don't use it.

Unless Amex lets you update your shipping address by Tweet, this doesn't really make a hacked Twitter account any more valuable. It's more annoying for you it someone hacks your account and tweets a thousand #BuyPlaxtexTamponsNow tweets using your account, but a hacker in Nigeria probably isn't going to bother sending products to people they don't know. And since a merchant will need to register with Amex, the hacker won't be able to tweet #BuyMyFakeCrapNow to get you to automatically buy whatever fake crap he's trying to sell. Amex will be able to vet merchants.

Re:Hackers wet dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876115)

Perhaps hackers won't be able to direct purchasers to themselves, but this is an absolute massive opening (that's what she said) to allow hackers to ruin someone's life. Imagine a messy divorce, and one of the parties is a vengeful douche. Cue the other party in the divorce suddenly being shipped everything under the sun... most likely things that will get them in trouble, fired, or otherwise ostracized from the community.

It may not be easy to ship things to yourself, but it would be astronomically easy to ruin someone's reputation, credit rating, and bank accounts with a correct twitter password. I mean yes, they'll see the responses from Amex (assuming you don't erase them since you obviously have their password and are currently logged in... not sure if that's even possible since I'm horrendously unfamiliar with twitter), but good luck trying to clean everything up before it goes to far if you suddenly have 500 responses from Amex saying you've purchased 500 things from 500 places. I guess Amex could cancel all purchases if it's too ridiculous, but even 10 purchases from 10 places, I can't see why Amex would stop it automatically, and odds are you're going to have a horribly miserable next few days attempting to sort it all out.

That is of course assuming you SEE the purchases in time. What if you don't check twitter daily? I know that I go on FAcebook maybe once a week. Maybe. I technically have a twitter account, but I log into it maybe once a month. It's used otherwise to let me text a post to twitter, which then shows up on facebook, letting me text a facebook update. I can't see any responses to what I've texted though, since I have a dumbphone and am just texting 494949 or whatever the hell the number to text to twitter is. I also don't check my credit card purchases daily, since IT'S used maybe once a month... generally only for emergencies.

So basically, if I were to for some bizarre reason sign up for this, I would be about the ripest fruit to do damage to. Good thing I don't use Amex, nor would I sign up for this service if I did.

Re:Hackers wet dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876233)

How is this different from pwning ebay, amazon, etc accounts that have linked credit cards?

Re:Hackers wet dream! (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876399)

So basically, if I were to for some bizarre reason sign up for this, I would be about the ripest fruit to do damage to. Good thing I don't use Amex, nor would I sign up for this service if I did.

So you outlined a scenario where someone who doesn't use or understand Twitter could run into, then you admit that someone who doesn't use or understand Twitter would never use the service anyway?

I think your ex-wife could think of easier ways to destroy your credit rating than hacking into your little used twitter account (since she presumably has your SSN, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and all of your personal identifying information) Especially since all she'll end up doing is having Amex shutting down your purchase account after their fraud protection filter kicks in, and the fraudulent purchases will be linked to her IP address and/or phone number.

Re:Hackers wet dream! (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878703)

Perhaps hackers won't be able to direct purchasers to themselves, but this is an absolute massive opening (that's what she said) to allow hackers to ruin someone's life. Imagine a messy divorce, and one of the parties is a vengeful douche. Cue the other party in the divorce suddenly being shipped everything under the sun... most likely things that will get them in trouble, fired, or otherwise ostracized from the community.

Not likely. AmEx is ridiculously reputation sensitive, and wouldn't take on any product that could cause embarrassment. Ever noticed how CCBill doesn't accept AmEx?

Re:Hackers wet dream! (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878825)

You're assuming that you will only be able to purchase physical, ship-able things. I'm sure you'll also be able to buy virtual gift cards, WoW subscriptions, cell phone plans, game purchases, iTunes, stocks, etc. With the current (you must give the companies your CC number), only the companies you have done business with can take your money. With the twitter thing, ANY business that does transactions over twitter could potentially take your money (or people use your money to get stuff from them).

Great! (2)

jimbrooking (1909170) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875619)

Just what we need: another quick, mindless way to increase our credit card debt!

I laughed (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875635)

I laughed when I read the summary.

Then I read it again and realized it wasn't a joke.

WTF... who the hell thinks this kind of crap up?

Re:I laughed (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875715)

WTF... who the hell thinks this kind of crap up?

Marketing drones. [iprimus.com.au]

That only works for a very limited selection (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875641)

That's fine for something like #pear or #iphone4 but what about if you have something more complicated? Some of my purchases would be hard to put into a hashtag:

#IntelCorei53570KQuadCoreProcessorASUSP8Z77VLKZ77MotherboardG-SkillDDR316GBMemorySeagate2TBHDDApexATXMidTowerCaseApex500WPSUSuperCombo

A better model might be able to add a bar on the left, that like WOOT only has a few items each day, and you need to tweet the hashtag it to get the deal.

Re:That only works for a very limited selection (2)

corbettw (214229) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875735)

In this case, I imagine a seller creating a short hastag, ala bit.ly, that is used a pointer to the item itself. So the hashtag would be something like #q9iHH8, not the long string you just posted.

Re:That only works for a very limited selection (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875769)

That's fine for something like #pear or #iphone4 but what about if you have something more complicated?

What species of pear? What color? Whole, sliced, or canned? How ripe? Jelly, maybe? An entire pear tree?

You, sir, have underestimated the intricacy of fruit purchasing!

Re:That only works for a very limited selection (1)

rjstanford (69735) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876215)

What species of pear? What color? Whole, sliced, or canned? How ripe? Jelly, maybe? An entire pear tree?

You, sir, have underestimated the intricacy of fruit purchasing!

I misread that as "intimacy of fruit purchasing." Not sure what that says about me, but very glad to re-read it correctly.

Re:That only works for a very limited selection (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875857)

That's fine for something like #pear or #iphone4 but what about if you have something more complicated? Some of my purchases would be hard to put into a hashtag:

#IntelCorei53570KQuadCoreProcessorASUSP8Z77VLKZ77MotherboardG-SkillDDR316GBMemorySeagate2TBHDDApexATXMidTowerCaseApex500WPSUSuperCombo
 

Yeah, and when I bought my house I had to read and sign a hundred pages of paperwork, so how will that work over twitter? It's a stupid idea if it won't work for every purchase.

Re:That only works for a very limited selection (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876187)

Oh no, it's not a stupid idea, it's the perfect plan to shaft the gullible out of the last money they can't afford. The next logical step will be the debtors' prisons, obviously run by private corporations like most of the prisons are. Free labor, right here in the U.S., hardly subject to any labor standards.

Re:That only works for a very limited selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876257)

Yeah, and when I bought my house I had to read and sign a hundred pages of paperwork, so how will that work over twitter? It's a stupid idea if it won't work for every purchase.

When I've purchased a house 90% of the paperwork has been for the loan. If you purchased a house with your with cash or a credit card like this story the paperwork would be much shorter.

we'll see some interesting credit card identities (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875707)

#creditcardiuseonlyforbuyingdildos

What could possibly go wrong (1)

tfountain (619557) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875741)

Who decides what the hashtags are? As I'd like to reserve #superbowl, #olympics, #worldcup, #snow, #summer and perhaps #gmaildown for my yet-to-be-invented product.

Another Problem... (5, Funny)

RedHackTea (2779623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875743)

"Dude, I just bought the new Monkey; it is really cool! #monkey"
(Monkey has been charged to your account.)
"Stupid American Express. I didn't want to buy Monkey again! #monkey #1stworldproblems"
(Monkey has been charged to your account.)
"Damn you American Express!!!!! I do not want a 4th Monkey!!!!!!! #monkey #ihateae"
(Monkey has been charged to your account.)

I wonder if it works with retweets/quotes? (2)

_xeno_ (155264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876081)

"Heh, look at this idiot: RT Damn you American Express!!!!! I do not want a 4th Monkey!!!!!!! #monkey #ihateae"
(Monkey has been charged to your account)

Re:Another Problem... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year and a half ago | (#42877687)

What happens with typos?

"Man, I hope payday comes soon. My wallet is empty. I'm out of #monkey."
"Oops... Typo. Meant, I'm out of #money."
(Monkey has been charged to your account.)

Re:Another Problem... (1)

drcheap (1897540) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878221)

"Oops... Typo. Meant, I'm out of #money."

(money has been charged to your credit card)

Plus applicable processing fee, because you just performed a cash advance. And by default the amount is equal to your "available for advance" amount in full. Have fun with that!

Who pays the service charge? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875749)

As anyone who works with the credit card companies knows, AMEX is one of the worst on service charges. They charge 5% of every sale to the seller. Where would the "seperate stream of revenue" come from? Do they expect that as a retailer, I would pay twitter another fee in addition to the fee I have to pay AMEX as well as the fees for my own transaction processor? Twitter and AMEX can team up all they want, but what are they selling? Give me a list of retailers or vendors lining up for this deal.

Expect prices to increase to cover this convenience.

Re:Who pays the service charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875965)

I'd guess Twitter gets a share of the 5%.

Re:Who pays the service charge? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878719)

If you're paying 5%, you're being ripped off.

will be abused in 3...2...1... (3, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875755)

Is see this as being ripe for abuse. The first time this goes live, someone is going to link a hashtag of something innocuous (like #wintercoat) to something expensive, and lots of people won't realize the mistake until they read their monthly bill and see a charge for $2000 on it. I can't imagine the system will last more than a day once people start complaining.

Re:will be abused in 3...2...1... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875823)

Is see this as being ripe for abuse. The first time this goes live, someone is going to link a hashtag of something innocuous (like #wintercoat) to something expensive, and lots of people won't realize the mistake until they read their monthly bill and see a charge for $2000 on it. I can't imagine the system will last more than a day once people start complaining.

Then that person should have read the purchase confirmation tweet that Amex sends back when they receive an order. Presumably this will give instructions on cancelling an errant purchase.

Re:will be abused in 3...2...1... (1)

Rary (566291) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875925)

Additionally, the person will have had to intentionally sync their card with their Twitter account to enable this in the first place. It's a stupid idea from a consumer perspective, although kind of brilliant from a marketing perspective, as now not only do we make purchases but we announce them to the world, but it's not nearly as prone to abuse as folks here are making it seem.

Re:will be abused in 3...2...1... (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875863)

Is see this as being ripe for abuse. The first time this goes live, someone is going to link a hashtag of something innocuous (like #wintercoat) to something expensive, and lots of people won't realize the mistake until they read their monthly bill and see a charge for $2000 on it.

Did you even read the fucking summary?

Tweeting special product hashtags (i.e., #uselessjunk) will purchase a product via that synced card. American Express will then send a purchase-confirmation Tweet

If somebody is stupid enough to accidently tweet the two required hashtags in the 15 minute window, then they deserve whatever charges they get since they're too stupid to be trusted with a credit card.

Re:will be abused in 3...2...1... (1)

corbettw (214229) | about a year and a half ago | (#42879119)

Did you even read the fucking summary?

Have you ever been on fucking Twitter? People retweet shit all the time, regardless of what it says. If they retweet something with the product hashtag, and then get something from Amex to confirm there's a good chance they'll retweet that, too, without even reading it.

Mark my words, this won't last because the public is too stupid to use it safely.

After you finishing laughing at me... (2)

Morpeth (577066) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875797)

please answer my question. I have never used Twitter, ever. Don't really feel compelled to, about the only social media I engage in is some FB.

I thought at it's core Twitter was just basically a 140 character text. So is this purchasing concept, essentially sending a text with product/store information to some kind of purchase processing service?

Re:After you finishing laughing at me... (5, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875969)

Except that instead of sending the text message to another person's phone, or some corporate address, you're sending it to Twitter, who broadcasts it to the entire world.

The canonical use case is:
Advertiser: Hey, world! Buy a gizmo for $20 by tweeting #gizmo.
You: Why yes! I would like a #gizmo!
Amex: Did you really mean to buy a gizmo? If so, we're gonna charge your AmEx and send it to your house.
You: Why yes! I do have poor impulse control!

Each of these is a 140-char message, all of it showing up on Twitter. Since your twitter feed is (supposedly) locked with a password, it's authenticated to be actually you making the purchase, even though everything is happening in the open and literally broadcast. (Security people may now roll their eyes.)

It's basically taking another canonical Twitter use case and turning it around. Already you get cases like this:
You (at Amazon web page): I want the mega pack of Ex-Lax.
Amazon: Done. Would you like to tell all of your friends?
You: Why, yes, of course. My friends need to know everything about me.
Your Twitter Feed: [You] just bought enough laxative to unplug the Hoover Dam.
Your mom (who follows you on Twitter): @[You], you should eat more fiber!

This kinda skips the intermediate step of buying the product in one place and then having to separately inform your vast army of followers. You combine both into one handy operation.

Re:After you finishing laughing at me... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878861)

Yeah... but if you wanted to keep it private, wouldn't you skip Twitter? I suppose retailer X could offer a 20% discount on certain products, but it would be the exception to the rule.

Re:After you finishing laughing at me... (1)

jfengel (409917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42879961)

I imagine that they would be happy to provide the sale via some other mechanism. You can probably hit the web site and get roughly the same deal much of the time.

It's just that people spend a lot of time on Twitter, and they're looking for a way to get people to buy stuff in a single step. The easier you make it for people to buy, the more they'll buy. Twitter is all about people with very little editing, a constant stream of thoughts that enter their heads and go out their fingers, no matter how banal or ill-considered. A perfect marketing tool.

(That is, Twitter is the perfect marketing tool. But I suppose it's also the case that the users are tools, too.)

El Oh El (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875817)

How bout no!

How about no? (1)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875827)

If this initial foray succeeds, it could potentially evolve into a workable e-commerce model

Sorry, what?

I like the idea of alternatives to the traditional marketplace, but this just seems completely pointless - A solution in need of a problem.

I didn't get up today and say to myself "Gee, Self, I need #bread, if only I didn't need to actually stop at the store I drive past every day to and from work to get some". I didn't fantasize about future Twitter hacks costing me real money. And I sure as hell didn't wish I could annoy all my friends by sending them a message about every single purchase I make (what gives with that, anyway? Every time I buy something online lately, the store asks if I want to tweet it or post it to my FB wall... "Hey, thieves of the world, I just bought an expensive new TV, and tickets to Peru from March 5th through 20th!").

Then again, I don't tweet about the texture of my morning BM, either, so perhaps this "service" just doesn't really target people like me.

Re:How about no? (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year and a half ago | (#42877557)

The husband of one of my wife's friends has synched his phone camera to his Farcebook page. This moron actually takes photos of the receipt every time he buys something expensive, which of course goes straight to Facebook. I really don't understand the reasoning.

BTW, I'll take those tickets off your hands . . .

Re:How about no? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878741)

Could be worse... at least Facebook purges EXIF data!

Fanfuckingtastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875837)

could compel potential customers to buy more often and in larger amounts.

Oh, yea, great! This is just what I needed!
See, I have all these "dollars" piling up over here, and I have no idea what to do with them.
This amazing new feature will be my saving grace. I'm off to sign up for a Twitter account immediately.

#theworldisfucked

Why overload #? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875841)

Why are they overloading # for this? Especially given the opportunity to use $ and call them "cashtags".

Sorry.

Before people freak out without RTFA (4, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875877)

First you need to tweet a certain hashtag.
AmexSync then sees this tweet and then replies to your tweet with a second hashtag you must tweet to complete the purchase.
You can either tweet this second tweet to confirm your purchase, or wait 15 minutes and the window closes, and it will require you to go back to step one.

Re:Before people freak out without RTFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876057)

Or, I can go to Amazon and select my one-click shopping link, HMMMMMM

Re:Before people freak out without RTFA (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876183)

Threadkiller!

Re:Before people freak out without RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876195)

The problem is you have to wait for confirmation by AMEX to your buy hashtag. If servers are overloaded like yesterday with their $25 for $15 deal, it can easily be hours. So you are stuck refreshing your twitter.com/mentions trying to figure out whether it is something you did incorrectly or their system is fucked up.

And then someone will Tweet... (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year and a half ago | (#42875945)

... #AmEx or #AmericanExpress and drive the whole thing into a deep recursion.

retweet (1)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876015)

do RTs count? Now I just need to follow every funny tweet with #SendWill$5 and I'll be rich in no time.

Public Purchase History (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#42876119)

If I ran a retail outfit, I'd be drooling. Think of all the data out there, just waiting to be correlated. As a consumer, this is pretty creepy.

Re:Public Purchase History (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876429)

As an Amish gentleman, I don't give a rat's ass.

Re:Public Purchase History (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#42878187)

As an Amish gentleman, I don't give a rat's ass.

This is an Amisha place?

I know what I want with your Amex card... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42876631)

#bitcoins

Donate to #favoritecause (1)

WML MUNSON (895262) | about a year and a half ago | (#42879841)

I assume this will initially be used to facilitate impulsive donations to #favoritecause.
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