Amazon launches shopping social network Spark for iOS


The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
The
logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in
Lauwin-Planque, northern France

Thomson Reuters

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc has launched a social feature
called Spark that allows members to showcase and purchase
products on its platforms, the retail giant’s first clear move
into the world of social media.

Spark, which is currently only available for Amazon’s premium
paying Prime members, encourages users to share photos and
videos, just like popular social media platforms Instagram and
Pinterest. The new feature publicly launched on Tuesday for use
on mobile devices that use Apple’s iOS operating system.

Spark users can tag products on their posts that are available on
Amazon and anyone browsing the feeds can instantly find and
purchase them on the platform. Users can also respond to posts
with “smiles,” equivalent to Facebook’s “likes.”

“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.”

Amazon has also invited publishers including paid influencers and
bloggers to post on Spark. Their posts are identified with a
sponsored hashtag.

Many Amazon users on social media called the service a cross
between Instagram and Pinterest with a touch of e-commerce.

Brand strategist Jill Richardson‏ (@jillfran8) said: “Been
messing with #AmazonSpark all morning and I am LIVING. It’s like
Pinterest, Instagram, and my credit card had a baby and it’s
beautiful.”

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Community manager Lucas Miller‏ (@lucasmiller3) also tweeted: “So
#amazonspark is going to be a dangerous pastime. The app is
already too easy to shop…”

Amazon shares closed up 0.2 percent at $1,026.87 on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2017. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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