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Snapchat is the latest social platform to announce plans for in-app shopping. Cosmo EIC and Snapchat board member Joanna Coles said yesterday at Re/code’s Code/Media event that Hearst's Snapchat channel Sweet will at some point "morph into an e-commerce platform so you will be able to buy from it."
The plans, however abstract at the moment, aren’t highly surprising. Every major social media platform has attempted to integrate on-platform shopping in the past 24 months, and Snapchat even invested in the shopping app Spring last May.
For comparison’s sake, here’s a quick report card on buy button efforts from the other leading social networks:
Pinterest. Over the summer, Pinterest rolled out buyable pins right from its app. In November, Pinterest opened its own curated shop, aptly named The Pinterest Shop. It's also recently added other features like price alerts when the items you pin go on sale, and a visual search function so you can buy the exact bag you loved in a pin.
Instagram. Last June, the photo sharing platform finally became shoppable with its own buy button.
Facebook. After testing buy buttons in the past, Facebook is trying out a program called Canvas. It's a shopping tab that will make it easier for retailers to improve the shopping experience on the app.
Twitter. In 2014, Twitter launched a buy button that allows users to make in-tweet purchases. Burberry was one of the brands who participated in Twitter's buy button testing rounds. After a year of testing, Twitter ramped up the program in September 2015 thanks to partnerships with retailers like Best Buy and e-commerce platforms like Bigcommerce, Demandware, and Shopify.
But have users caught on? The Washington Post reported in January that social channels accounted for just 1.8% of overall online sales during the holiday shopping season. If social shopping is just getting started, now could be a good time for Snapchat to get on board.