Twitter: The New Way To Make Political Donations

By Olivia Finan,
Money & Investing Writer

twitter
Recently, Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) has been updating its app constantly to try to please its users.

On Tuesday, September 15, Twitter announced a new feature that will allow users to make direct donations to politicians using the app.

Twitter partnered with Square, a private company that markets its payment products to larger corporations.

CEO of Square and Interim CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, had both of his Square and Twitter teams join together to create this feature.

Dorsey is the cofounder of Twitter and was a key component to the company’s startup in 2006.

Dorsey describes that his three guiding principles are simplicity, constraint, and craftsmanship, which he believes Twitter encompasses.

In 2010, Dorsey developed his own small business company named Square.

This platform accepts debit and credit payments through the mobile app on Apple and Android products.

Customers receive receipts via text and confirmation that their payment was approved.

It was not until a recently when Dorsey had the idea to join the two together and create his first partnership.

Historically, Twitter’s stock prices have done pretty well.

When it went public in 2013, Twitter was trading at $45.25.

Even with this new feature that was expected to make a bigger impact, Twitter is trading at $27.41.

They know that this feature will slowly begin to raise profits since the presidential race is underway.

Twitter’s Head of Political Advertising Sales, Jenna Golden, said “When people have conversations about politics, they have them on Twitter. It’s what voters learn and share in these conversations that routinely motivates political action.”

According to Pew Research Center, 38 percent of Twitter users favorite tweets to promote material related to political issues that others have posted and 34 percent use Twitter to post their own political views for others to see.

To sign up for this feature on Twitter, campaigns first have to make their SquareCash account.

This creates their “$Cashtag” that can tweet which will generate the “contribute” button in user’s Twitter feeds.

When Twitter users click on the button will be able to make a donation directly towards that campaign.

This idea will be very important for campaigns since they have been looking for ways to make mobile donations a lot smoother.

Before it was implemented, Twitter informed candidates about this change and a few candidates decided to sign up right away― Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker and Rand Paul― are just a few who chose to sign up first.

This partnership has benefits for both companies.

Square gains exposure.

With this new integration, more people will have to sign up.

Not only campaigns but also anyone who wants to make a donation.

For Twitter, it encourages politicians to continue using twitter during their campaigns.

Twitter becomes more useful to politicians if there is a simple way for it to directly benefit them.

All social networks are currently competing to get candidates to use their platforms for publicity.

Twitter believes that with this new feature, it will attract politicians more then another site would.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 22nd print edition.

Contact Olivia at
olivia.finan@student.shu.edu

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