Twitter shuts down Ribbon's in-stream app payment hours after launch

Twitter has unceremoniously killed off Ribbon's in-stream payment option mere hours after the social commerce platform integrated itself with Twitter. The service was designed to allow users to buy or sell products without needing to leave Twitter. About 90 minutes after the service made its début on Twitter, Ribbon’s co-founder Hany Rashwan noted in a blog post that the service had been stopped.

Ribbon’s co-founder Hany Rashwan expressed shock at Twitter’s move. “We weren't given a heads up," he told Mashable. “There was no notice."

As the integration with Twitter Cards was taken down, Ribbon links sent users back to without going into the in-stream buying experience. When you clicked on one of Ribbon’s tweets earlier, it would give you an option to pay for products and services within the service. Now it simply gives you an option to see the offer on the web, forcing customers to leave Twitter and go to another website to make a purchase.

How Ribbon was supposed to look

How Ribbon was supposed to look


Before making the announcement about Twitter freezing Ribbon’s integration, Rashwan said his team made sure it had validated the service’s Twitter Card implementation. Surprisingly, all of the requirements seemed to be in place.

It is not clear why Twitter decided to abruptly take the service down mere hours after its integration was made public. It could be because Ribbon violated certain Terms of Services of the micro-blogging website. We’re now waiting for Twitter to present its side of the story in order to get a clearer picture.

Earlier this month, an excited Twitter threw open the gates for integrating new Cards with the service. Twitter Cards is essentially embedded information that pops up within a tweet. When you click on a tweet of this sort, it opens up a drawer that contains such content. Tweets with additional information currently have an extra icon with information about the kind of content that is in the tweet. For instance, if you're trying to view an image, Twitter would earlier send you to another website, but it now opens a tweet so you can view the image.

These new Cards allow for new capabilities such as mobile app linking, photo galleries as well as product information. With the App Card, you can see more information about an app, such as name, icon, description, rating and price.



What Ribbon looks like now

What Ribbon looks like now



Instead of just a single image, users will now be able to embed an album or collection of photographs via a preview of the photo gallery. It will indicate to a viewer that an entire gallery has been shared.


Using the Product Cards, developers will now be able to pull additional information from websites for products. Besides the image and description of the product, Twitter will allow for two customisable fields that can display more information like price or ratings. Ribbon was making use of this particular card to allow users to access its services on Twitter.

Published Date: Apr 11, 2013 12:04 pm | Updated Date: Apr 11, 2013 12:04 pm