Amazon provides new way to shop, with Instagram-like photo feed


Amazon Spark is like a social network for product discovery-with a feed of shoppable photos.

The idea is for Amazon Spark to be used by Prime members rather than sellers looking to push products at potential customers.

From there, Spark will create a "feed of personalized content from other Amazon customers with similar interests as you". Unlike eBay, instead of product shots Amazon want users to post Instagram style images of products that they love telling a story. Amazon Spark feels quite a lot like the big image-based social networks, Instagram and Pinterest.

Amazon's launched a few other recent efforts towards this end, including a curated section within its app called "Interesting finds" and a program that helps influencers set up their own stores within the site for a commission.

Instagram itself has proved a great place for finding stuff to buy, but has it been slow to integrate a simple way for users to click through to products.

Users are asked to choose up to at least five shopping categories that interest them, which are then used to determine the posts that go into their news feed later on. Tech companies like Amazon, however, appear increasingly fond of cloning popular apps from fast-growing startups.

Users can get advice and feedback from the community and interact with others by leaving comments and "smiles" on their posts. In addition, as of now, Amazon Spark only runs on iOS and is up only for Prime members., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) just announced a new feature for Prime members. Pinterest, a seven-year-old service now valued at more than $12 billion, didn't respond to a request for comment. The app then generates an Instagram-like feed of posts that display yellow dots on purchasable items in the photos. It feels a bit beta for now - you have to be in the USA and Spark only shows up for Prime members.

Amazon must have wondered, "What's the use of all this sharing on social media if there's no shopping?"