Now, Tweet Your Way to Your Amazon Wishlist

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Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) released a new feature that turns Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) into both a billboard and a platform for adding items to a user’s Amazon cart. The company has since been tweeting a variety of products to show off the new feature.

How it works is simple: Amazon users connect their Twitter accounts to their Amazon accounts. When a retailer that already has signed up with Amazon to sell through the online shopping giant tweets about a product with an Amazon link, the Twitter user just needs to reply to the tweet with the hashtag “#AmazonCart” (“#AmazonBasket” for users in the United Kingdom) to add the item to his or her shopping cart on Amazon. The #AmazonCart hashtag has been trending in the United States on Monday.

This service has already been utilized for a wide variety of products. Books, video games, and kitchen appliances are among the many items being added to Amazon shopping carts. From a promotion standpoint, this new feature is brilliant. Users are publicly announcing what they plan to buy through a social media outlet. For Amazon, an added benefit of this useful little feature is free advertising for the company.

Product recommendations from friends make consumers more likely to buy something. Seeing a friend tweet about something on Twitter has the potential to have the same effect, encouraging consumers to buy the item too and to buy it on Amazon. However, a timeline full of tweets from someone that reads @[company name here] #AmazonCart may be annoying to some users, particularly if it happens several times in a row.

Of course, there is another downfall for consumers. The new feature discourages comparison-shopping, since Amazon is the only mainstream online shopping platform to use a feature like this on Twitter.  That may be part of Amazon’s goal in encouraging users to increase their spending on Amazon.

The move may also reduce Twitter to an online shopping platform, as TechCrunch suggests, which may be good for revenue but not necessarily good for the community on Twitter. Just last week, investors and analysts worried about the fact that Twitter had only grown 6 percent in the first quarter of 2014. However, Twitter always had a bit of a retail aspect, which Amazon is merely taking advantage of in its latest feature.

Some Twitter users reacted to the news by tweeting what they wanted using the #AmazonCart hashtag. Some of these tweets were for items that Amazon clearly does not carry, exploiting the humorous potential of Amazon’s hashtag.

“A new apartment in the East Village! #AmazonCart (A drone will give me the keys after work, right?)” tweeted user Rachel Obenschain.

“[B]urrito with fries inside #AmazonCart,” said user Edward Lineberry.

The news means one thing for sure: The holiday retail season may result in #AmazonCart trending in the United States from Black Friday to New Year’s Eve, since that’s when American users do the most shopping. And don’t forget about Cyber Monday.

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