Amazon Prime members in the US can now use Spark to buy products through an Instagram-like curated picture feed within the Amazon iOS app.
Amazon has launched a social network called Spark with the objective of improving product discovery through peer-to-peer engagement. With an Instagram-like interface, the Spark network allows users to scroll through photos and purchase any Amazon-listed products contained in them.
Amazon Spark users can follow topics and people they're interested in, engage with a like-minded community through comments and 'smiles', and share their own pictures — it can be a direct product review or something like a travel photo where the product is not highlighted.
Spark marks Amazon's entry into the social media sector. The differentiating factor is that Spark users can purchase the products they see in the photos through a single tap. Speaking to the media, an Amazon spokeswoman said:
We created Spark to allow customers to discover — and shop — stories and ideas from a community that likes what they like. When customers first visit Spark, they select at least five interests they'd like to follow and we'll create a feed of relevant content contributed by others. Customers shop their feed by tapping on product links or photos with the shopping bag icon.
Spark, which is built into the Amazon iOS app, is currently available only for Prime members in the US (non-Prime members can browse the feed but they cannot post or comment). Amazon is yet to disclose plans for its launch in other countries.
Amazon Spark has received a lot of positive feedback on Twitter since its launch on Wednesday. Also, Jeff Bezos' company has reportedly invited paid influencers and bloggers to post on Spark, highlighting the monetisation potential of the feature.