Technology

Amazon Launched an Instagram-Like Shoppable Social Feed for Prime Members

The service, called Spark, lets users scroll through an image-heavy feed and shop for items highlighted in the pictures.

By Shona GhoshSenior tech reporter, Business Insider UK
CREDIT: Getty Images

Amazon would really like you to buy more stuff, ideally through Amazon.

The company has launched Amazon Spark, an Instagram-style shoppable feed that appears inside the Amazon app to showcase products. We first saw Spark on TechCrunch.

The experience is similar to scrolling through your Instagram feed, except in this case everything is set up so you can click on an image and buy items much more easily.

Business Insider tried using Amazon Spark on the iOS version of the Amazon app. It feels a bit beta for now -- you have to be in the US and Spark only shows up for Prime members. And some items don't seem to be available to buy exactly as they appear in Spark -- we tried to buy a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses that we saw on Spark, and Amazon showed us a slightly different version.

Here's how Spark works:

To open Spark from the Amazon app, click the menu from the homescreen, scroll down to "programs and features," and you should find Spark listed.

To open Spark from the Amazon app, click the menu from the homescreen, scroll down to

Shona Ghosh/Amazon

If you're in the UK and want to use Amazon Spark, you'll need to change your country settings to the US.

If you're in the UK and want to use Amazon Spark, you'll need to change your country settings to the US.

Shona Ghosh/Amazon

Spark will show you images based on your interests, and will ask you to pick five or more from categories like "men's fashion" and "home decor"

Spark will show you images based on your interests, and will ask you to pick five or more from categories like
Shona Ghosh/Amazon

Once you're in Spark, you'll be able to scroll through an Instagram-like feed, all inside the Amazon app.

Once you're in Spark, you'll be able to scroll through an Instagram-like feed, all inside the Amazon app.

Shona Ghosh/Amazon

Spark will highlight which items in the image are available to buy on Amazon -- in this case, it's the rug, mistletoe, and sunglasses. We tried buying the sunglasses...

Shona Ghosh/Amazon

...and it's not perfect. The Ray-Ban sunglasses shown on Spark look slightly different and cooler than what's actually available for you to buy on Amazon.

...and it's not perfect. The Ray-Ban sunglasses shown on Spark look slightly different and cooler than what's actually available for you to buy on Amazon.
Shona Ghosh/Amazon

And Amazon shows you items in Spark that aren't available to buy. Here is a glossy product shot of Amazon's new meal kits, which launched this week...

And Amazon shows you items in Spark that aren't available to buy. Here is a glossy product shot of Amazon's new meal kits, which launched this week...
Shona Ghosh/Amazon

...but if you want to buy them, they're sold out.

...but if you want to buy them, they're sold out.
Shona Ghosh/Amazon
Anyone who uses Spark right now is probably a big Amazon fan. The company has acknowledged that by featuring this nod to a recent meme about its CEO Jeff Bezos.
Shona Ghosh/Amazon

This is a photo showing Jeff Bezos arriving at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference last week. It went viral because he looks incredibly buff now, compared to when Amazon first started.

You too can buy Jeff Bezos' bodywarmer jacket, t-shirt, and jeans. The "guns" probably need a little more effort though.

You too can buy Jeff Bezos' bodywarmer jacket, t-shirt, and jeans. The
Shona Ghosh/Amazon
You can follow Spark users whose interests match yours. It's early days, and there aren't many people posting.
Shona Ghosh/Amazon

If you want to post to Spark, you need to be a Prime member and make a "minimum amount" of Amazon purchases. We didn't qualify.

If you want to post to Spark, you need to be a Prime member and make a
Shona Ghosh/Amazon
This post originally appeared on Business Insider.
Published on: Jul 19, 2017