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Twitter plans ‘pay by tweet’ system

Twitter is working with American Express on a "pay by tweet" system for users to pay for real or virtual items through the microblogging service

Twitter is working with American Express to introduce a "pay by tweet" system that will allow users to pay for real or virtual items through the microblogging service.

The Twitter payment service will enable people who link their Amex cards to their Twitter accounts to make purchases simply by tweeting in response to special offers on Twitter.

But first Twitter users will have to register with the service, look up what products are on offer, tweet the relevant hashtag and tweet a confirmation hashtag in 15 minutes of receipt.

According to American Express, US card holders will be able to tweet special #hashtags to buy American Express Gift Cards and products from Amazon, Sony, Urban Zen and Xbox 360 from 13 February.

An Amex spokesman told the BBC he was unable to provide any detail of when it might extend the latest scheme to other countries.

The payment system could generate revenue for Twitter ahead of a potential flotation in 2014, according to the Guardian

The paper also notes that Twitter is also attempting to boost revenue in other ways, such as raising the price of a “promoted trend” to $200,000 a day.

Twitter generated an estimated $350m in revenues in 2012. Analysts believe increasing interest by advertisers in promoted tweets and trends could double that in 2013.

Meanwhile, American Express is setting up similar card connection systems to work with Facebook, Microsoft's Xbox Live service and FourSquare.

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