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Amazon wants people to ‘smile’ at photos of users using Amazon products

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Amazon launched Amazon Spark today, which is available as a feature on the mobile app on iOS, where users can post and share photos of themselves using Amazon products. One tap on a user’s photo and the product’s Amazon page comes up. Users can comment or “smile” on a photo, which is Amazon’s version of a like.

Spark is located under Programs & Features on the Amazon’s app navigation menu. Once you click on it, Spark prompts you to list five of your interests to determine what to show you. At the time of writing, the feed was so sparsely populated that hiking photos come up even though I picked Books, Style and Fashion, Food, Technology, and Women’s Fashion.

For non-Prime members, the Amazon Spark feature is hidden from the list of programs and features and they are not allowed to post onto Amazon Spark. According to TechCrunch, non-Prime users can browse the Spark feed, but when I tried to access it from my non-Prime account, I found no way to do so.

Amazon Spark appears to be an extension of Amazon’s reviews system where users can already post pictures of the products after they’ve received them. Those photos are often dimly lit and grainy. Amazon Spark will likely encourage users to up their camera quality in a similar way that Instagram has transformed amateur photos of food and fashion. Just scrolling through the Amazon Spark feed, it appears that photos are already brightly lit and well-centered.

While the feed’s fashion and food sections feel like Pinterest and Instagram, the tech section more closely resembles Reddit, with a more technical blurb of text above the photo explaining how the poster has been using a gadget. But unlike subreddits like r/personalfinance that ban users from mentioning specific products and marketing themselves, Amazon Spark is all marketing all the time. Spark is available only in the US for now.

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