Amazon launches Inspire, a TikTok-Like Shopping Feed That Supports Both Photos And Videos
TechCrunch | December 8, 2022
Amazon is bringing a TikTok-like shopping experience to its app. The company announced the launch of Inspire, a new short-form video and photo feed that allows consumers to explore products and ideas and shop from content created by influencers, brands and other customers. The feature is designed to draw consumers’ attention away from apps like TikTok, where brands can directly market to consumers, in order to drive sales on Amazon.com instead.
The retailer said the shopping feature will initially roll out to select customers in the U.S. in early December and will become broadly available to U.S. customers in the months that follow. The launch follows tests earlier this year when Amazon had been spotted experimenting with a TikTok-like shopping feed in its app, which then had its own navigation button at the bottom of the Amazon mobile app. In the version launching now, that high-level placement in the main navigation remains the same; however, the Inspire feed will now be accessible with a tap of a light bulb icon instead of the diamond icon that was seen in tests.
To get started with Inspire, customers will open the Amazon Shopping app and tap Inspire’s icon. Upon first launch, they’re prompted to choose from over 20 interests, including things like makeup, skin care, pets, gaming, plants, hiking, interior design, travel, running and more in order to personalize their Inspire feed.
While Inspire focuses on short-form video content, it also offers support for photos, making it something of a hybrid between TikTok and Instagram. Like Instagram, you can double-tap anywhere on the screen to “like” the content with a red heart. However, you scroll through the Inspire experience much like using TikTok’s vertical video feed, where you swipe up from the bottom to see the next video. Engagement buttons are also off to the right side of the screen, as on TikTok.
When you see something, you like, you can tap on small buttons at the bottom of the window which link to the product on Amazon. Initially, a tap on these buttons will pop up the product in an overlay window on top of the video, but a tap on “See all details” will take you to the item’s product page where you can read more, make a purchase or add it to a list. Over time, Amazon says the feed will better customize itself as Inspire learns more about the user’s interests by tracking their engagement and likes. Longer-term, the retailer plans to add more shoppable features to Inspire, as well as additional in-app functionality and content, to further improve the product.
Amazon Inspire is currently only available in the Amazon mobile app on iOS and Android, initially to select customers.