Twitter Quickly Shut Down Ribbon’s In-Stream Payment Service

Posted Apr 10, 2013

This morning, Ribbon announced that they have launched an in-stream payment service on Twitter through Twitter Cards.  In just a few hours, Twitter shut-down access to the payment service according to Ribbon co-founder Hany Rashwan.

In a blog post, Rashwan said “with no heads up, our integration of Twitter Cards was taken down, and now Ribbon links go back to without the in-stream buying experience.”  The in-stream payments integration was announced at 11AM and it was blocked by 12:24PM.  He added that Ribbon made sure to validate their Twitter Card implementation and all of the lights were green.  The company had discussions with Twitter in the past too.

Why did Twitter block access to Ribbon?  It is believed that Ribbon incorrectly requested access to Twitter Cards.  Supposedly Ribbon requested access for the video player instead of a payment transactions system. Twitter had concerns that users would not immediately understand that payments were going through Ribbon instead of Twitter.

“Twitter has contacted us. We?re actively talking to them today and trying to figure this out. Like any developer on Twitter, we had a hunch that this might happen. However, we?ve had extensive contact with Twitter about what we?re building and finding ways of working together. We?re still excited about the possibilities of what we can build and are looking forward to working with them in the future,” said Ribbon in a statement to GigaOM.