News Feature | July 25, 2017

Amazon Spark Feature Allows Users To Shop Via Social Media

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Amazon Collectible Coins

This product discovery feature works via the Amazon mobile app.

Amazon has launched a new content feature on its Amazon mobile app that takes allows users to shop items they see in photos and read about in posts generated by others, according to TechCrunch. Called Amazon Spark, this product discovery feature takes its cues from Social Media.  Amazon describes it as “a place to discover things from people who share your interests…Spark makes it easy to discover – and shop – stories and ideas from a community that likes what you like.”

 Amazon has just started rolling out Spark to U.S. users of its mobile app after testing it in beta form for the last few months. The feature is not available for use outside of the retailer’s mobile app, TechCrunch reports. The move marks Amazon’s first real foray into the world of social media, however, and allows users to tag Amazon products on their posts so that those browsing on their feeds can find and purchase them on the platform.

To use the feature users must register with their names and provide a list of at least five interests to follow. Amazon Spark then develops an image-intensive, customized feed of related products, photos and ideas.

Spark encourages its users to tag stories and ideas about their favorite products with links to Amazon where browsers can purchase them. The Instagram-like feature is being rolled out as retailers are facing tougher competition for the consumers’ mighty dollars. The feature is currently available on Amazon’s iOS app and only to Amazon Prime members. Non-Prime members can browse but can’t post or comment on Spark feeds, according to CNET.

"We created Spark to allow customers to discover - and shop - stories and ideas from a community that likes what they like," said an Amazon spokeswoman.

"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."