Stocktwits, a social network for investors and traders, announced the launch of a new app that offers commission-free trades on U.S. equities. The app is called Trade App and is offered by Stocktwits subsidiary and registered broker-dealer, ST Invest.
Like the Stocktwits platform, the app will engage investors with a social interface that promotes idea exchange. Unlike the Stocktwits platform, however, Trade App will not charge commissions and will facilitate fractional share investing.
The commission-free trades, mobile interface, and fractional share capability all appeal to millennials and those with a lower net worth. These aspects pit the new app against Stocktwits competitor and partner Robinhood. The two formed a partnership in 2015 with an integration that offered Robinhood users access to Stocktwits’ stock-tracking tools and enabled StockTwits’ users to leverage Robinhood’s free brokerage service.
“With 150,000 messages sent every day on the platform, Stocktwits prides itself on understanding the retail investor and trader. For ten years we’ve had a front row seat to the roller coaster of emotions the active investor goes through, from the highs to the lows,” said Ian Rosen, CEO of Stocktwits. We built Trade App to create a better experience for investors and traders of all levels. Self-directed doesn’t have to mean self-destructive, and we believe the key to success lies in not relying solely on yourself.”
Rosen, who was appointed Stocktwits CEO in 2016, said that the Trade App “matches the excitement and pulse of the community we’ve built.” The app will be available to Stocktwits’ existing user base of two million this summer on iOS. While there is no exact date when Trade App will be available to the general public, the company said that the release will occur “over time.”
Founded in 2008 by Howard Lindzon, StockTwits serves as one of the top trading communities and social investing platforms. The company facilitates 4 million messages each month about 7,500 individual stocks and tickers. StockTwits launched its blog network and StockTwits Connect at FinovateEurope 2011.
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StockTwits announced today it has partnered with TradeIt to expand the number of brokerages through which its users can trade. With the new integration, traders and investors can now place trades via large brokerages directly within the StockTwits mobile app.
This is the San Diego-based company’s second brokerage partnership. StockTwits first introduced brokerage functionality into its iOS app through a partnership with Robinhood in November 2015. Since launch, 40,000 Robinhood accounts have been connected, making a total of 1,000 trades per day on the StockTwits iOS app.
In a press release, StockTwits CEO Ian Rosen said, “We’ve had so much success with our Robinhood integration that we are excited to get more brokerages used by our community connected.” While the press release did not mention the number of “major brokerages” the TradeIt partnership gives the StockTwits community access to, it made clear that the new addition, “expands StockTwits’ broker offering considerably.”
The $2 million funding round was led by Social Leverage and brings the company’s total to $13 million. StockTwits will use the funds to boost engagement by adding premium features and content such as video to help engage users. The company counts 1.5 million active users each month, 60% of whom are under the age of 44.
Driving this change is Ian Rosen (pictured right), who has been appointed CEO of StockTwits effective July 6. Rosen has served as an adviser to the company since 2013 and is taking the seat of Howard Lindzon who founded StockTwits in 2008. Lindzon has filled the role of executive chairman. Rosen most recently served as CEO of Even Financial, a supply-side platform for online lending. Prior to that he was general manager of MarketWatch, a financial media business.
At FinDEVr San Francisco 2014, Lindzon showed off the company’s API that provides financial institutions real-time data on stock market sentiment. The company plans to further leverage and grow how it uses this data. Speaking to TechCrunch, Lindzon said, “Data business is doubling this year and we are focused on widening the top of the brand funnel with some new ideas.”
In addition to its FinDEVr presentation, StockTwits has also presented at FinovateEurope 2011 where it debuted its blog network and StockTwits Connect. The company is the inventor of the CashTag, a method of linking a company stock to a feed using a dollar sign, for example $AAPL.