E-commerce giant Amazon is venturing into the social media space with an offering of its own dubbed as 'SPARK’. This is to be a social media platform not for sharing news stories but about shopping, a different social media for the customers.
Purpose to serve
The Instagram-type feature is to make shopping through their app more intuitive and easy by using photos of items on sale on Amazon. The users are encouraged to post stories, ideas and even images of their materialistic possessions or desires. The other users can then go ahead and write comments regarding their experience and react to with likes, or as Amazon would like to call it, 'Smiles’, to show their approval of the same.
As of now, the Spark feature is only available for Amazon Prime users. They can access it through the app and not the website.
This way, this feature is more like a Pinterest competitor than Instagram. Amazon had been testing this feature for some months now before its launch. However, Spark is still in the beta stage. The main aim of the feature is to shift some activity around products happening off-site back to Amazon, the idea being, product inspiration can directly translate to click purchases.
How does it work?
Spark can be accessed by clicking on the menu button from the home screen and then scrolling down to ‘Programs and Features’ and clicking on ‘Spark’.
Spark will display images to based on your interests and then ask you to choose or pick five more from different categories like fashion, home decor etc. Once inside the feature, you can scroll through the Instagram-like feed screen and decide on items. Spark highlights the objects that one can buy from the image on Amazon. One would have to click on the highlights and then be navigated to the buy page for further processing.
The items that are present in the picture, if sold through Amazon, are represented by a small shopping bag in the bottom right corner, also displaying the number of items that can be shopped from Amazon directly.
Irregularities in the feature
Work on the feature is still underway since there are some things that need to be worked on to ensure that the feature works seamlessly and yields the desired results that it was set out to achieve in the first place.
There have been instances of a different object being linked as opposed to the picture displayed. There are also cases where the object is on display but is not in stock. The company is working on the irregularities to fine tune the feature.
The Road Map Ahead
The Seattle based behemoth's idea is more like a love child between Instagram and its own product Amazon. It's still very early to even speculate how Spark is going to turn out; whether it be able to catch the attention of people and generate enough traction.
One thing is for sure though… Amazon wants you to buy more stuff online and too from Amazon itself. So sit back, enjoy and Amazon.