As the presidential elections draw ever closer, Twitter has joined forces with Square to introduce a new feature that lets US users make a donation to their favourite political candidate via a simple tweet.
Candidates wishing to use the feature can sign up for an account through Square Cash. Once they have been verified, they can tweet a unique URL, or $Cashtag, to request donations from supporters. The tweet will include an image with a large “contribute” button which users can click on and enter the amount they wish to donate using their debit card. Anyone donating will also have to submit certain information required by the Federal Election Commission, and has the option to tweet a candidate’s $Cashtag to their followers.
"This is the fastest, easiest way to make an online donation, and the most effective way for campaigns to execute tailored digital fundraising, in real time, on the platform where Americans are already talking about the 2016 election and the issues they are passionate about," said Twitter’s head of political advertising sales, Jenna Golden.
Anyone making a donation using this method will have their data saved, should they wish to make any future contributions. The feature has already been used by two 2016 candidates; Republicans Scott Walker and John Kasich have both sent out donation tweets.
The partnership between Twitter and Square isn’t that unexpected; Jack Dorsey, interim CEO and co-founder of Twitter, is also the chief executive officer and co-founder of Square.
Last month, Twitter came in for criticism after the microblogging site shut down Politwoops, the collective name for a network of sites dedicated to saving the tweets politicians delete. This led to accusations that the site was making it easy for politicians not to be held accountable for what they say on the social media platform.