Twitter introduced a new feature Tuesday–one day before the second Republican debate–that allows political candidates and advocacy groups to raise money. This makes it simple for tweeters to send donations to United States politicians through a tweet. The system will only be available in the United States, according to Newsweek.
The program allows for any active candidate to accept donations from their Twitter followers. The campaigns have a custom URL or $Cashtag which they can share to solicit donations. Square Cash is verifying the campaigns.
Once the tag or URL is included, a “contribute” option will appear in the tweet. When a donor clicks on the option, he or she is taken to a page with FEC required information that contains a place for payment information.
“When people have conversations about politics, they have them on Twitter,” the company said. “It’s what voters learn and share in these conversations that routinely motivates political action. That’s why we’re making it easier for Twitter users to actively support candidates and causes.”
Twitter also said in a statement that “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.”
Though this may be the case on a computer, it is difficult to click through a bunch of pages on a mobile device. And 80 percent of Twitter’s audience uses smartphones.
Jenna Golden, Twitter’s director of political ad sales, said that at least 12 presidential candidates will start using the new fundraising feature immediately, Washington Post reports. Golden mentioned that the fundraising service is available for state-level and local candidates as well.
“We think about donating to a campaign as an old-fashioned, traditional process, a cumbersome process,” she said. “This was an incredible opportunity for us to simplify and streamline.”
Twitter has already created several products around presidential campaigns such as email collection options and voter registration reminders. And of course, a new feature wouldn’t be complete without swag. There is even a red T-shirt that reads, “The NSA knows I bought this Rand Paul t-shirt.”
“Twitter has been a successful avenue of fundraising for campaigns in the past, and this will make it even more attractive to campaigns as they look at how to allocate precious dollars,” a digital strategist for the Paul campaign, Vincent Harris, said.