Amazon Spark Adds a Touch of Social Media to Prime Shopping

Amazon Spark

If you love the benefits of Amazon Prime, but wish the service had a social element to it — besides reading hilarious user reviews, that is — then today is a good day. Not content to to merely expand into the grocery business and meal kits, Amazon is moving into the social media game, having launched its Amazon Spark feature, which allows users to share photos of products they like, much like on an Instagram or Pinterest feed. While browsing your Spark feed, you can tap on a product you like, and go directly to its Amazon page, where you can then order one for yourself. Now, you too can be an (unofficial) brand ambassador for your favorite products.

Pinterest users will find Spark’s interface familiar. When users launch Spark for the first time, they will select a number of categories that interest them — like books, fashion, or video games — and will then see appropriate photos in their feeds. While browsing your feed, if you see something you like — say, a lovely hardcover edition of Blood Meridian sitting on a bookshelf in a photo — you can simply tap on it to go to the item page and purchase it for yourself.

Anyone can view posts on Spark, but in order to make your own Spark posts, or comment on, like, or otherwise interact with posts you see, you must have an Amazon Prime account. You can access Spark from the Amazon Prime app — only on iOS, for the time being, although Amazon says that an Android version is on the way. Simply open the app, then tap the menu button and select Programs and Features. Find the button for Amazon Spark and tap it.

What incentive is there to post on Amazon Spark? Other than the typical rewards of internet popularity — users can approve of posts using “smiles,” a feel-good take on the traditional Facebook Likes — you can also become a recognized “Enthusiast.” This distinction comes with a special badge on your profile. So stop browsing Amazon in isolation. Embrace the next evolution of a consumerist lifestyle and start sharing your favorite products with others!