Here's How Amazon's Clever New Shop-by-Twitter Service Works

'Add it Now. Buy It Later. Shop From Within Twitter.'

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Back in February I published a column titled "What If Twitter Got a Lot More Useful?", based on Twitter U.K.'s partnership with telecom giant O2, which uses Twitter as a customer-service platform. I suggested that Twitter needs to build more relationships and services like that, to demonstrate that it can be much more than just a pit stop on the way to other media destinations, and thereby appeal to a broader audience of potential Twitter users.

Given the drubbing Twitter's stock has taken lately thanks to its admission that its growth has been slowing, today's announcement of #AmazonCart -- "Add it Now. Buy it Later. Shop from within Twitter" -- is very welcome news. It adds another layer of functionality to Twitter, but does so by using an existing signature element, the hashtag, that Twitter users are already comfortable with. Watch this quick video for the simple explanation of how it works.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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