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Twitter will test live shopping feature with Walmart as holidays approach

Twitter will test a live shopping feature on its social network this weekend with Walmart, giving users a chance to buy products promoted during a real-time video broadcast as part of a push into businesses beyond advertising.

The world’s largest retailer will be the first company to sell via the new tool during a live event on Nov. 28, making a test run over the weekend that traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season. The retail giant will broadcast on the Twitter app with musician Jason Derulo, and users will be able to browse a product catalog while watching the live video, Twitter said Monday in a blog post. Clicking to make a purchase will send viewers to Walmart’s website to complete a transaction.

Executives of San Francisco-based Twitter earlier this year said they see shopping as a business opportunity, though the effort has yet to be expanded beyond a handful of experiments. Twitter announced a “shop module” in July that let a small number of retailers add products to their Twitter profiles, a program that went offline after a test period and will be reintroduced next month. The company isn’t processing payments or taking a cut of any transactions.

Twitter has been looking for ways to expand its business to decrease dependency on digital advertising, which accounts for 89% of sales. The company also recently launched a monthly subscription product.

Live shopping has become a popular testing ground for social networks looking to capture some of the online retail business. Meta Platforms Inc., which owns Facebook, is also offering live shopping, and Pinterest Inc. launched a similar service earlier this month. Google’s YouTube is also pushing harder into live shopping this holiday season in hopes of stealing some online sales away from Amazon.com Inc.

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