By Adam Forrest, Director of Product Marketing

Twitter announced a new ‘buy’ button earlier this week and stated it is an early step to help make “mobile shopping” easier and more accessible for consumers. But let’s be honest, is buying a product off a Twitter feed really “shopping,” or is it just a way for a consumer to capitalize on a new trend? Before we all rush into flooding the Twitterverse with t-shirts, bobbleheads and snuggies, it’s important we get the answers to a lot more questions.

Starting with: what’s the value of Twitter’s buy button for your business? Is it simply to enable consumers to make a purchase, or is it a way to drive them to the site to engage with the brand? How will an on-Twitter purchase impact the number of items per transaction and AOV per customer? And how will it impact brand loyalty for the retailer?

Today, after a few years of adjusting, brands have mastered the art of driving consumers from social networks to landing pages and campaigns, allowing consumers to engage and embrace the brand, and learn more about different product offerings. Sometimes, this can even drive consumers to physical stores. With Twitter’s buy button, however, this layer of engagement with the brand is removed.

Sure, it could be a great way to reach a very targeted group of followers that would be interested in a new product line. It could also be a solid opportunity to create a new revenue stream with retweets through paid celebrity endorsements. But why use Twitter for that? Why not shoppable images through Instagram, or targeted promotional campaigns to VIP customers through email with custom code links that take them to unique landing pages that help tell the broader retail story?

As I mentioned in a previous post, social channels are a place where people go to connect with friends, share memories and get ideas. It’s not a place for “shopping.” Before you buy into the buy button for your brand, ask yourself: how many promoted products in your Twitter feed will it take for you to stop following a brand?

What do you think? Does this align with your own thoughts? Do you have more questions you need answered before you’re ready to jump in head first?