Amazon’s new Spark social feed wants to be ‘Instagram for products’
New offering from the e-commerce giant is a pragmatic and creative move.
Amazon has introduced Amazon Spark, a very Instagram-like social shopping feed. Not all of the images and posts are tied to products but most are — and can be purchased on Amazon.
It resides within the Amazon app and there are many ways ways to describe it: a social network for shopping, a “shoppable feed,” a shopping Q&A community, and so on. We can debate whether it’s more like Pinterest or Instagram (it draws “inspiration” from both). The objective is pretty clearly to create social engagement on the Amazon app that will lead directly to product purchases.
Upon “signing up,” users are asked to identify topics of interest from an extensive menu. The list extends beyond product categories to various lifestyle areas and interests (e.g., travel, art & design, humor, fitness). Amazon recognizes that if this were only about pushing products it wouldn’t be as appealing as a broader, interest-based network that also includes products in some larger context.
I haven’t spoken directly to Amazon about this but my guess is that target user is female 20+ to 50 or so. Below is a collection of screens that illustrates the flow and user experience. From a distance it looks very much like Instagram. Not all images are tied to products; there are moms and kids at the beach, people hiking and pictures of pets in addition to Amazon Echoes and waffle makers.
But where there is a product for sale in an image (see lower right image above), you’ll typically find a yellow circle or bubble. Tapping that takes you to a product image and description and then to the Amazon product details page. As contributors, users are prompted to “share something interesting” and invited to upload a Photo, Product, Link or Poll.