Starbucks launches 'tweet-a-coffee' service

Starbucks launches 'tweet-a-coffee' service

Starbucks has teamed up with Twitter to launch a service that lets users tweet their followers and friends a virtual gift card that can be used instore to pick up a coffee.

The US-only beta service, dubbed 'Tweet-a-coffee', works by linking a Starbucks card to a Twitter account. Users then compose a tweet which includes '@tweetacoffee' and the friend's Twitter handle - initiating the gifting of a $5 Starbucks Card eGift.

Recipients receive a link to an e-gift card which they can redeem at participating stores by either showing their phone to a staff member, printing it out or loading it on to the iPhone mobile app. 

Between today and 6 November, the first 100,000 customers who tweet a coffee using a Visa card will also receive a $5 Starbucks Card e-gift for themselves.

Twitter is only the latest platform Starbucks has tapped for its e-gifting service; the firm first brought it in on its Web site in 2011 and since taken it to Facebook and its iPhone app. 

Twitter's potential as an e-commerce platform has previously been tapped by American Express, which launched an initiative earlier this year where users could sync cards to an account and make select purchases using hashtags. Payments start-up Dwolla has also experimented with a feature enabling users to tweet money.

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