Today, we’re taking Twitpay out of beta and putting it out there for everyone to use. (If you don’t like to read long blog posts: we’re turning on “real money” powered by Amazon Payments. We’re excited. Twitpay is awesome.)
Since our unusual inception at Atlanta Startup Weekend 2 we’ve had an interesting few months. As a company, we’ve faced some challenges, mostly because doing money transfer is a pretty complicated thing to do. There are a lot more regulations to comply with than we guessed over that weekend in November. We’ve also seen some competition, and some copycats. We welcome the former, and are annoyed by the latter, although the job post for “build a clone of Twitpay” was really appealing. Maybe we should have applied for it…
Mostly what we’ve seen is that you want to use Twitpay, just like we do. In fact, the most frequent question (maybe the only question) we get asked is “When can I do real money?”
We’re exceedingly happy to say that the answer is “right now.”
As we’ve thought about what’s important about social payments, a few things stayed in the front of our minds: they have to be really easy, and they have to be secure. We got the easy part down on Day 1: just tweet the money and it goes! If you haven’t used Twitpay yet, here’s how it works:
- Post a tweet like “@ev twitpay $1 because Twitter is awesome”
- There’s no Step 2!
Our apologies to Jeff Goldblum.
If you’re sending money to someone who will probably send you some back later (settling up your coffee shop tab every day) you may be happy with just keeping track. For most of us, though, there are times when you want to send “real money.”
The standard way to solve this is to say “Well, you give some money to Twitpay, and then later we’ll give it to the person you sent money to.” In fact, that’s what we started to do at first. Something didn’t sit right with us, though. Why should you trust Twitpay with your money? You don’t know us. Even more importantly, in the above scenario, Twitpay effectively becomes a bank. And while the allure of TARP funds is seductive, we’ve heard some rumblings lately that maybe being a bank isn’t the greatest idea right now.
So we decided not to ask you to trust us. Working with Amazon Payments, we’ve built a new version of Twitpay that means we don’t have to be the middle-man for your cash. That’s good for you as a user because you don’t have to trust us with your money, you just have to trust Amazon. It’s good for us as a service because it allows us to focus on adding new features and focus on the core of our business.
So as of 12:01 AM, March 3, 2009, Twitpay is live with real money. And we are also the most secure and trustworthy social payment platform out there. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please visit us twitpay.me and click on the Support link. We look forward to hearing from you.