Amazon Expands Its Release of ‘Inspire’ Video Shopping App

Amazon is rolling out its Inspire shopping feed to all U.S. customers. The short-form video and photo feed, which has drawn comparisons to TikTok, lets customers explore products while shopping from content created by influencers and brands. After logging in to the Amazon Shopping app, the Inspire light bulb icon will connect users to a menu of more than 20 categories, from makeup and skin care to pets, gaming, travel, health and more. Users can vertically scroll the content feed and double-tap on the screen to create “likes” for the content displayed.

“Engagement buttons are on the right side of the screen, just like they are on TikTok,” TechCrunch reports, noting that “when you click on a product, it will appear in an overlay window on top of the video.” Shoppers can then tap the “‘See all details” button to visit the item’s product page and either make a purchase or save the item to a list.

According to Tubefilter, “non-brand users must be part of the Amazon Influencer Program in order to upload content to Inspire.”

When customers purchase content posted by a creator, the purveyor is eligible for a commission. “Customers can’t post to Inspire, but can submit a product review, which may appear in Inspire,” says TechCrunch, adding that reviews don’t generate commissions.

In addition, brands and vendors enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry and linked to an active Brand Store can also post to Inspire.

Amazon began its Inspire experiment with shoppable video and photos in December, building on a history of borrowing techniques from social media platforms to engage shoppers and drive commerce.

In 2016 it “launched a Pinterest-like feature called Interesting Finds,” followed by “an Instagram clone called Amazon Spark but ended up shelving the program in 2019 after only a couple of years,” according to TechCrunch, which questions whether the retailer can replicate the sense of discovery that draws consumers to social sites.

“People browse social media platforms for more than just looking for ideas about purchases, as they want to learn new things and be entertained,” TechCrunch writes, emphasizing that “although Amazon is incorporating short-form video, it’s unclear if it will be able to deliver a product that’s both entertaining and worthwhile when shopping.”

In the U.S. Amazon Inspire is available to iOS and Android users via the Amazon mobile app, but has not been released for desktop.

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