Amazon Takes Aim at Instagram with Amazon Spark for Prime Members

Content Manager

Amazon launched Amazon Spark, a new feature for Prime members aimed at improving product discovery through stories and photos. Similar to Instagram, Amazon Spark users can post stories, ideas and images of products they love, and others can react to with comments and “smiles.”

TechCrunch reported that Amazon Spark is being tested in beta mode for a few months in the U.S., with the goal of taking some of the social activity around the products off-site back to Amazon.

For now Spark is only available through Amazon’s mobile app since the feature has yet to designed for desktop. It is available through the “Programs and Features” section of the app. Shoppers are asked to select at least five interests they want to follow, then Spark creates a customized feed of products, imagery and ideas related to those interests.

Shoppers can pick interests like “Style and Fashion” “Technology” “Music” or more niche interests like “Internet of things” “BBQ.”

The posts shoppers get in their Amazon Spark feed are more like product reviews or a lifestyle image. If an item featured in the lifestyle image is sold by Amazon, it will have a shopping bag icon next to it. There are also product photos, text, links and polls.

MCM Musings:  As I was writing this, I couldn’t help but think how Amazon is not just targeting Prime members but a younger demographic in general with Spark. The company is realizing that shoppers are influenced by their peers as well as by imagery. I also think they’re trying to gain younger shoppers as Prime members. We’re seeing how more and more shoppers are influenced by brand imagery more than anything else. They are also influenced by what other people think about a product, which is where ratings and reviews come into play before making a purchase.