Twitter's EarlyBird Takes Flight With Disney Movie Deal; Groupon And Gilt To Come

Last week we learned more about Twitter’s ecommerce deal product, @EarlyBird. Earlybird will offer users exclusive, time-bound deals, events and sneak peeks, for which it has partnered with a number of advertising partners. Today, EalryBird is taking flight with its first deal, tickets for “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a film from Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films that opens in theaters today. According to the Tweet, if you enter “APPRENTICE” at checkout on Fandago, you’ll get two tickets for the price of one.

As we wrote in our previous post, Twitter is partnering with advertisers to distribute offers via the @EarlyBird account, and they get to determine the terms of the offer, including availability, amount, and pricing. Twitter says that deals will be published via the @EarlyBird handle several times a week, with more deals to come. Twitter specifically called out deal of the day site Groupon and flash sales site Gilt as partners in the new initiative.

We originally thought that EarlyBird woud be a competitor to deal sites like Groupon and Gilt but it turns out that it’s actually a complimentary channel. Twitter has halso posted an FAQ about the new feature. Interestingly, Twitter says it is “starting with US-wide offers but will explore location-based deals in the future.”

Currently EarlyBird has nearly 50,000 followers, which is expected to grow as more deals are revealed. A movie ticket deal for a summer Disney film is certainly a way to start EarlyBird off with a bang, and it will be interesting to see the diversity of deals in the future. While some have criticizing Twitter for introducing EarlyBird with a movie that has received less than stellar reviews, it is a deal with a major movie company. Disney and others are also probably looking to see how well the deals perform. Of course, the question on everyone’s minds is how much money Twitter will receive from the deals.

From the blog post:

We’re just getting started– we’ve got an amazing lineup of deals to share in the coming days and weeks with people following @earlybird. Several times a week, @earlybird will help consumers discover Twitter-exclusive deals in entertainment, fashion, technology, beauty, travel and more. These deals will come directly from our advertising partners and from other companies (including Groupon and Gilt Groupe) that already deliver valuable deals to consumers via Twitter. Following @earlybird is the only way to make sure you don’t miss out.

Additionally, you can hear more about EarlyBird from Twitter Product Manager, Shiva Rajaraman, as TechCrunch’s Social Currency CrunchUp on July 30. You can read more about the CrunchUp and the agenda here.