On Wednesday Amazon added a new feature to its Amazon Shopping app for iOS users called Spark. Since it became available I’ve been giving it a good test and so far, I really like what I’ve experienced. Spark is a social network that is focused on bringing Amazon customers together to talk about and inadvertently sell more product.
Like it has done by integrating Alexa into its Shopping app, the company is doing the same thing with what can only be considered an Instagram clone. Spark provides many of the same Instagram features – except for the ‘Stories,’ picture filters, and sharing to Facebook/Twitter/etc. features but I expect that to develop soon as Microsoft has also done with its Skype revamp. Like Instagram, Spark is picture based. Like Instagram, it provides the ability to include text, links, and categories – but these all play into the Amazon shopping ecosystem. And, that’s the real difference. This social network is geared toward selling product. On Instagram, the ads that pop-up in the picture stream are rarely in context and they feel like an interruption, whereas, Amazon’s implementation works.
I’m an avid Amazon shopping fiend – and I know many of you are. Spark works for me in ways Instagram doesn’t because it fulfills an actual purpose. I regularly rummage through Amazon’s product pages looking for deals on things that interest me. Connecting people of like interests and sharing comments and media is valuable. I know this is early days, but Amazon could have another sleeper hit on its hands with Spark. The company may have missed on the Fire Phone, but since then, its been going gangbusters.
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