Amazon to allow online shopping through Twitter header image

Amazon has launched a new service that will allow people to shop online through Twitter.

Internet users will now have the chance to add an item to their shopping cart by tweeting a specific hashtag on the social network.

Should they see a tweet that mentions an Amazon product they need only reply by tweeting #amazonbasket and the item will be placed in their cart. 

"Whenever you see a tweet with an Amazon link, just hit reply and hashtag AmazonBasket and it will be waiting the next time you visit Amazon … Add it now, buy it later, it’s that simple," a spokesperson for the company said.

People who make use of this service will still need to visit Amazon and check out to actually pay for the item and complete their order.

Sanjana Chappalli of digital marketing firm LEWIS Pulse told the BBC this move shows major brands are keen to take advantage of the millions of people who use social media sites.

"Ultimately it is all about conversations that people are having on various platforms such as Twitter and Facebook about what interests them.

"Brands are keen to tap into these platforms, not least because they have hundreds of millions of active users."

Twitter alone has 255 million active users, although this was not enough to stop the company posting a loss of $132 million (£78 million) in the first quarter of 2014. Katy Perry remains the most followed person on the network, with close to 53 million followers - roughly the equivalent of the population of England. 

Amazon and Twitter's partnership combines two of the most popular activities Britons use their broadband connections for. 

Research from Ofcom shows two-thirds of adults use social networks and 60 per cent of people with active accounts visit them at least once a day. Meanwhile Britons spent a total of more than £23 billion over the internet in the first quarter of 2014 alone.