In 2017 Amazon released a new social media application called Spark as a way to improve product discovery. It is supposed to be a network that allows people to come together and connect based on shared interests as well as uncover new products that fit their style. Spark’s tag line is to discover, inspire, shop and connect. Despite investing quite a bit of money into this new feature, the Amazon Spark app seems to have failed and become stagnant within the last year.
The whole point of the Spark application is to connect users, however there’s not a lot of opportunities for members to really find or get to know each other online; like on other social media platforms. Spark is a sneaky way for Amazon to accumulate more buyers. It is set up like Instagram, with pictures of the products that people have purchased, and it allows you to “smile”(their own version of likes/favorites) or comment on the picture all the while having a direct link to buy the product on their website. Besides the comment section there is no way for anyone who uses the platform to connect with another person. Which can get very frustrating for people who were hoping to branch out with this new application. Additionally, the device is only available to Amazon Prime members, so anyone who does not have a Prime account is not allowed to post anything on the app. However, non-prime members are still allowed to view the feed and purchase products directly from the application.
Bad for Influencers
Amazon advertised the app as a way for influencers to share their experiences with the website. The company even claims that they have “contributor awards” that will give members cash for their interesting content. Despite these claims, influencers tend to have a hard time using the application. Influencers thrive on brand recognition and direct contact with their followers and there seems to be a lack of that within the Spark application. They also have a hard time gaining cash back through Amazon due to a lack of user engagement. Not many people are even aware that this application exists because of poor advertising. Therefore, the influencers who have dedicated their time to the app have suffered. In an article by Digiday they spoke to eight agency buyers and Amazon barely spoke of the Spark app at all. This does not just hurt influencers who use Amazon, but it hurts Amazon itself. Why invest money into a feature if the company is not going to talk about it? In the field of social media in order to really make something work you have to constantly advertise it. One would need to market it really well on various different platforms. Amazon has such an advantage over other companies who are trying to launch an app; They have millions of people who view their website everyday, so if they were to advertise Spark more than more people would use it.
Amazon’s Spark app is one of the biggest flops of 2017. Not many people use the application, and those who do, have a hard time gaining recognition. If you are interested in creating an application for your business there are so many different ways to launch the app that will make it much more successful than Amazon’s Spark. If you are interested in Apps for your business check out our next blog post.