A new Twitter based service that allows users to buy each other beers is officially rolling out at SXSW. ‘Tweet-A-Beer‘ hopes to make the practice of buying other users beers more of a habit, especially given that networking at SXSW often comes about at the bar.
The web tool uses an e-commerce platform – called Chirpify – that lets you buy sell or donate money, to sync you PayPal account to your Twitter account, so you can safely send beer money in $5 dollar allotments. The app was created in only six weeks – handily in time for SXSW – by Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and tenfour, both based in Oregon.
To buy someone a beer, you enter their Twitter handle in to Tweet-A-Beer, which then generates a tweet to them (that you can personalise before sending), and the app also allows you to add your location or suggest somewhere to meet to enjoy that beer.
I’m going to put my neck on the line now and say that I think this idea is ridiculous. While it’s always a nice gesture to buy someone a beer, this actually makes the whole process more cumbersome. I’m not aware of many – if any – pubs or bars that accept PayPal as a method of settling your tab. So you’ll still have to actually front up the cash if someone tweets you a beer and then transfer $5 from your PayPal account.
Of course there will be people who find this brilliant, and fair enough, if they want to use it then I hope they enjoy it. But if I’m honest I’d much rather just text someone saying; “Hello mate, fancy a pint in town? My shout.”