Pay for a pal's pint via Twitter
A new app called Tweet-a-Beer lets you use social media to buy a beverage for friends across the country.
It was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to use social media for that most social of activities: buying your buddy a drink.
A new app called Tweet-a-Beer lets you send "a beer" to any friend via Twitter along with a 140-character message announcing that this pint's on you and the reason. What you are actually sending, however, is a $5 credit on PayPal, with the assumption that it will more or less cover the cost of the person's next beer.
Tweet-a-Beer launched at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, which begins today and where much beer buying is presumably taking place. In fact, the app has already been used to purchase more than 500 beers for use in Austin, according to Mashable.
Using social media, you can buy beers for friends across the country -- and you don't have to be there with them to enjoy the drink. If you are in the same city, however, the Tweet-a-Beer website gives you the option of specifying a time and place to meet. So far, the service is available only within the U.S. (Post continues below.)
The site describes its origins as having been "brewed and bottled" by Portland, Ore., ad agency Tenfour and public relations firm Waggener Edstrom "to ensure that distance, agoraphobia and gang rivalries no longer prevent you from sharing a pint." The creators didn't devise the app to make money so much as to foster networking.
How it works
To tweet beer money to your pals, visit the Tweet-a-Beer website and follow the steps to authenticate your Twitter account with the commerce site Chirpify. Once you've approved Chirpify to send PayPal payments for you, you can start buying beers for any of your Twitter followers in $5 increments.
"Users can send as many beers as they like, but Tweet-a-Beer supports responsible drinking, and the transaction limit means you can only send one beer at a time," Australia's News.com.au reports.
Once you hit send, your tweet will include a link that takes the recipient to the Tweet-a-Beer site, where he or she can click to "Claim Beer Money." If your friend doesn't have a PayPal account, he'll receive a follow-up tweet to register with Chirpify to collect the funds.
If the people to whom you are sending beers would rather not receive them, they can decline or refund the money to your PayPal account, ignore the tweet or use the $5 in their PayPal accounts however they choose.
Oh, and it's not actually $5 but rather $4.90, because 10 cents is deducted from the recipient's PayPal account for Chirpify processing.
And, because it's Twitter, all of your other followers will know whom you are buying a beer for, so don't be surprised if you get some requests. (Writer Josh Wolford, covering the app for WebProNews, included his Twitter handle in his post, noting, "It's Friday. I'm thirsty.")
Now, no drunk tweeting.
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