Payment Service Square Tweets News of Mobile Gift Cards
By Ina Steiner
Square founder Jack Dorsey dispensed with press releases and instead used Twitter to announce the launch of Square gift cards on Sunday. His method of sharing the news was not surprising, perhaps, given the fact he founded Twitter before launching online payment service Square.
"Treat friends and family to local favorites with Square gift cards, he tweeted, linking to a Twitter pic. "Easy to redeem with Wallet, Passbook, or paper."
The tweets continued, "It's as easy as sending an email! Download Square Wallet to treat your friends to their local favorites."
"A week of cappuccinos for my dad," was followed by, "You can even buy them for @Starbucks..."
Two hours later, Square tweeted the news on its corporate Twitter account with a link to a video - "Treat your friends. Square gift cards are here." The video explains users can find a local business in the Square directory on their iPhone, choose an amount, write a personal message, select a theme and then send to their friends via email. Recipients then save the "gift card" to their Square wallet for future use.
Dorsey returned to Twitter an hour later to explain, "You can send a Square gift card to anyone with an email address. No smartphone? They can print out a QR code," and included a link to the app on iTunes.
Square gained ground among small merchants when it launched a card reader that sellers could attach to their smartphones and use to swipe customer credit cards at flea markets, craft shows and other online venues. eBay's PayPal unit and other payment services were forced to play catch-up after Square gained rapid adoption among sellers such as Etsy crafters and artisans.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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