Twitter and Square, two companies that are currently sharing a CEO, are also teaming up on a new feature that allows people to make political campaign donations directly on Twitter.
Candidates can sign up through Square, which will verify their campaign, and then tweet out a donation card complete with a "Contribute" button. Donors who already have a Square account can easily give money to their favorite candidate and then jump right back into the Twitter stream. People who don't have an account will be prompted to enter their debit card and some personal info to comply with FEC requirements. Square takes a 1.9 percent fee from each transaction (as it already does with small businesses using the service).
This is the first-ever formal partnership between the two companies, which are both currently run by Jack Dorsey. It's unclear how involved he was in the process, but it's probably safe to assume that shared leadership didn't hurt when the details were coming together.
The deal makes sense, at least on paper. In Square's case, it's an opportunity to generate more Square Cash signups. Users who want to donate aren't required to have a Square Cash account, although it makes the process smoother if they do since, with an account, the user does not need to enter a debit card number in order to donate. It could also generate a little revenue for the company.
The benefit for Twitter is that it should encourage politicians to keep tweeting ahead of next year's elections. Twitter becomes much more attractive to candidates if it's an easy way to generate campaign dollars, too. Social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat are all competing to get candidates sharing on their respective platforms, and this new feature should provide a little extra incentive.
In fact, more than a half dozen candidates, including Bernie Sanders and Scott Walker, are already using the new product.