Amazon introduces an Instagram-like social shopping feed

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The online giant has launched Amazon Spark in the U.S., a social network that identifies products that appear in pictures and lets users click through to buy them.

From there, Spark will create a "feed of personalized content from other Amazon customers with similar interests as you".

Amazon Spark is now only available on mobile (you can find it in the "programs and features" section of the app) and while anyone can browse the feed, only Prime members can post. While not strictly a social network, Amazon Spark has numerous hallmarks of one. It can be found in the main menu of the Amazon App for iPhone by tapping 'Programs and Features, ' then 'Amazon Spark.' While all customers can view the posts on Spark, if they want to post or comment they need to be in the us and have a paid Prime membership.

My first impression is that it's very reminiscent of the eBay Feed crossed with a bit of Instagram.

At first launch, you'll be asked to identify at least five of your favorite topics. "Anyone can view your posts, comments, the interests you follow, and see your Amazon Profile", Amazon said in its Spark FAQs.

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The posts are created by Amazon's "enthusiasts"-the company's term for contributors to Spark". In many ways it supplements the comments that appear on product listings.

Find it through the Amazon app. And Amazon shows you items in Spark that aren't available to buy. The app then generates an Instagram-like feed of posts that display yellow dots on purchasable items in the photos. Ideally, the user interface and experience are similar of that on Instagram; this gives users to scroll down and up on their feed and potentially see something they like and buy it. You can also post stories of your own.

As Amazon keeps growing, it's clearly looking to be more than just a destination for convenience and price.

Consumers are exposed to the product interests and sentiment of their peers and, consciously or not, adjust their shopping habits.

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