When you first join Spark – it’s available through the “Programs & Features” menu option in the app’s navigation – you’re asked to select at least five interests you want to follow.
Using this information, Amazon Spark will create a customized feed of products, imagery and ideas that will relate to the sort of things you like to shop for, or learn more about.
To some extent, the retailer sees Amazon Spark as a new frontier for product reviews.
Similarly, Amazon Spark users are encouraged to post stories, ideas and images of products they love, which others can react to with comments and “smiles” – Amazon’s own version of the Like or Favorite button.
The retailer has been quietly testing Amazon Spark in beta for a few months before today’s launch to consumers in the U. The goal with the new program is to shift some of the social activity around products taking place off-site back to Amazon, where product inspiration can translate directly into purchases with a click of a button.
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In this way, Amazon Spark could be seen as something of a Pinterest competitor, as well, but the actual format for the service is a feed-style interface – which is why the comparison with Instagram seems more apt.
To get started with Amazon Spark, you have to use the Amazon mobile app, as the feature is not designed for desktop use at this time.
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Or, if you manage to hunt the product in question down, you sometimes find it’s no longer sold or out of stock.
That shouldn’t happen on Amazon Spark, thanks to the way the product images are connected with Amazon inventory.
Amazon Spark isn’t directly connected with either of those earlier programs, but it does have a similar goal of helping people more serendipitously discover new things they might like to buy.