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December 17, 2008, 6:00 pm
Send Money Through Twitter With Twitpay
This is part of a series of posts this week on happenings in the sprawling but always
succinct world of Twitter.
Twitter can be used to network, make friends or keep up with Britney Spears. And soon it
will become a way to transfer money over the Web.
Twitpay is a start-up that aims to allow people to send small payments through Twitter. To
do this they include the recipients’ username in their message. For example, posting the
update “@johnsmith twitpay $10 for lunch” would deliver the cash to that Twitterer’s
Twitpay account. The company monitors the public stream of messages for the keyword
“twitpay” and facilitates the exchange. You replenish your Twitpay account using a site like
PayPal. Once recipients have accumulated more than $10 in their accounts, the balance can
be cashed out in the form of an Amazon gift card. For all transfers exceeding $1, Twitpay
will take a flat cut of 5 cents.
In its simplest form, the service is a quick way to settle a lunch tab or pick up a round of
drinks on a friend’s birthday. But Michael D. Ivey, its chief executive and co-founder, says it
could also make it easier to donate money during a disaster like Hurricane Katrina or an
earthquake. “Ideally we want to enable social giving on Twitter,” he said. “But beyond that,
we could enable charitable giving, such as to the Red Cross. We’re very excited to be able
to help people do good over Twitter.”
Along with many of the third-party applications that make use of Twitter’s platform,
Twitpay has no official ties to Twitter, which allows people to post messages up to 140
characters in length. But along with the Shorty Awards, Mr. Tweet and the multitude of
other sites and third-party applications springing up around the platform, Twitpay is
another example of the way Twitter is forming an ecosystem of its own.
The service is still in a trial phase, but Mr. Ivey said the company was actively working to
obtain financing and is in discussions with several groups.
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Donations, Internet, Networking, PayPal, Social Media, Start-ups, Twitpay, Twitter, Web 2.0
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1. 1. December 17, 2008 8:54 pm Link
Hi Jenna,
Just wanted to stop in and introduce! We are the site
to go to if you are looking for your Twitter Tweetheart! ;)
Thanks for the article here! A lot of terrfic stuff is happening around Twitter!
— MyTweetheart
2. 2. December 17, 2008 9:15 pm Link
“Twit” pay? Really? here I come from twit is an insult. “Twitter” is fine but twit?
— Paul
3. 3. December 17, 2008 9:25 pm Link
“Twitpay”??? Anyone familiar with British English will be rolling on the floor!
— oldbrownhat
4. 4. December 17, 2008 10:27 pm Link
This sounds like a terrible idea to me. Why wouldn’t someone just use paypal to send
money? It seems a lot safer. I remember during the dot com days there were several
companies (flooz anyone?) who were trying to do this same thing and when they went
belly up, consumers were left minus their cash. I might feel better if there was a
massive company guaranteeing the payments, but there’s no way that I’m going to
buy virtual currency for my friends from a start up that might not even be around a
year from now.
— Davis Freeberg
5. 5. December 18, 2008 3:12 am Link
Oh, my! My face is red! The site is
Can you make the edit or do I need to redo?
I apologize. But hey! We are new, so please pardon the dust. lol!
— MyTweetheart
6. 6. December 18, 2008 11:01 am Link
You may want to also check out Yonkly. It’s the first “create your own” microblog to
integrate with Twitter:
— scott
7. 7. December 18, 2008 1:07 pm Link
Whenever currency transactions are involved, there must be adequate security
measures in place. If I sit down on a public computer and find that someone is still
logged into their Twitter account, what’s going to stop me from sending payment to
my account or to all of my friends’ accounts? Will Twitter log out inactive users after a
certain amount of time? PayPal does this and also guarantees certain transactions as
— Steve S.
8. 8. December 18, 2008 4:46 pm Link
I wonder when Twitter will find a way to make money.
Re: TwitPay, cool idea if only enough of my friends would use Twitter to make it
worthwhile to make an account. Not the case yet. Further, if there’s no ability to cash
out other than by getting a gift card to purchase something else…Well, that leaves
one’s hands tied.
— Oleg K.
9. 9. January 18, 2009 6:59 am Link
Who is going to dabble their toes in the water for this one? Trial period suggests
guinea pig. No thanks.
— Carol J Gibson
10. 10. May 19, 2009 5:09 pm Link
i think TwitPay is an innovative idea that will burn out in a matter of 3 months. it’s not
that it is a bad idea, but the security risks and the fact that TWITTER was not meant to
be a commerce site just point to failure. this is why it is so successful in my opinion.
the second you start getting advertisements everywhere, people will start using some
other form of twitter that doesn’t. just MHO. the whole gift card thing is
messed up, too., if this TwitPay really happens, is going to BANK OFF
THIS in a major way….they must REALLY be in with
— Mary
11. 11. January 23, 2010 5:12 pm Link
I have had enough of all the reports and news coming out of Haiti. This country was in
crises before the earthquake, now all they want is US dollars and how many of the
victims will have their houses rebuilt how many will get the medical aid they require?
All the fuss and media frenzy this is not the only country that has had so much
damage and lives lost due to natural disasters but it is the only one that the President
of the United States has publicly supported, yet again at the taxpayers cost. Well I feel
enough is enough; No more there is other news in the world and the USA I would like
to see some of that too.
— John Bentley
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