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Twitter, Amazon sign deal to allow users to shop by hashtag

| Monday, May 5, 2014, 11:03 p.m.

Twitter Inc. signed a deal with Amazon.com Inc. to let users shop directly from posts on its microblogging service, part of a push to add e-commerce options for advertisers.

When product links appear in a tweet, American customers can add the items to their Amazon shopping carts by replying to the post with the hashtag #AmazonCart, the companies said in a statement. While Twitter won't get a cut of individual sales, Amazon will increase spending on Twitter advertising products, said a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because terms of the deal aren't public.

Twitter has been seeking to woo advertisers and retailers by adding tools to help them reach its 255 million users. By enabling e-commerce, Twitter is aiming to keep consumers on its site for longer and learn more about their interests and shopping habits — valuable information for advertisers, which account for the bulk of the company's revenue.

The company has been exploring adding direct shopping options on the site, and last year hired former Ticketmaster executive Nathan Hubbard as head of commerce to bolster its efforts. In an interview last week, Twitter's chief executive officer, Dick Costolo, said shopping on the site would have the same real-time feel as the rest of the Twitter experience.

“I think about our commerce opportunity as commerce in the moment,” Costolo said after the San Francisco-based company reported earnings.

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