Amazon Spark: a new social network (and product discovery) for iOS

Amazon Spark: a new social network (and product discovery) for iOS

I have these bizarre mixed ideas of what product/service development at Amazon is like.

There are times when I see it as super high tech, like something Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne would have in their basements.

There are others when it feels like a mad scientist’s laboratory, in a castle on a imposing mountain with lightning crashing in the background, and mood lighting by Strickfaden (and, of course, controlled by Alexa).

Then there are times when it seems like the Invention Exchange segments on Mystery Science Theater 3000. 😉

I’m not quite sure where

Amazon Spark (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

falls yet.

The very basic idea, of being able to share how you feel about an Amazon product, makes sense. Of course, we can write reviews on Amazon, but I don’t think most people discover your comments that way. Not everything is a review, either…it might just be a comment or a question.

However…

This implementation is quite limited, at least at this point.

It only works through the Amazon Shopping App, and right now, only on iOS (Apple).

My concern there isn’t just that it isn’t available for Android: it’s that it can only be seen through the app, and that I can’t add things when I’m shopping on my computer.

That isn’t really very social for a social network. 😉

It makes it feel more like an attempt to lock people into using the app.

If that’s the case, I don’t think it’s going to get people to add one more social network into their day. I already don’t do Facebook much myself, because I don’t feel like I have the social energy/capital to spend on it. If I was active on Facebook, I can see how I would spend an hour a day, and I just don’t have that in terms of my creative priorities.

That’s going to be the case with Spark as well, although I did just post something to test it.

It took a while bouncing around to even get it to show up. It’s supposed to be in the menu under Programs and Features, but it wasn’t there for me at first.

The interface is not really intuitive, but it works okay. There isn’t enough discovery in the discovery yet.

It could work, but this one doesn’t seem like one of Amazon’s home runs to me. It’s like the posting we used to do in Kindle books…that eventually faded, even though it was an interesting idea.

I’ll be interested in your opinion on it, if you try it. Hm…somebody did just smile on my post, so it is already working. Maybe I’ll be wrong about this, which would be great!

In the mean time, I’ll keep waiting for Amazon to burst into the VAM (Virtual/Augmented/Merged/Mixed Reality) space, which I expect to happen later this year. 🙂

Feel free to let me know what you think by commenting on this post.

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When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! 🙂 

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3 Responses to “Amazon Spark: a new social network (and product discovery) for iOS”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I don’t use any Apple products (although several siblings are apple fanpersons — so I guess I might get (from time to time) an Apple “contact high” (:grin)).

    One mainstream tech review of Spark likened it to an Amazon flavored version of Instagram. As I don’t use that (or Facebook)either, I’m not competent to comment other than to pass on what someone else has said.

    Even if it were to make its way to a platform I use, I probably wouldn’t use Spark.

    Speaking of other platforms HTC has just announced their U11 smartphone ($649 unlocked on Amazon) with native Alexa integration. It will hear the Alexa wake word even if the phone is off (as long as it’s not locked with a password or fingerprint) no app required. This is in contrast to the other Alexa enabled smartphone, the Huawei Mate 9, which requires a Huawei Alexa app to be loaded and a button push before you say the wake word. Neither of these phones have complete Alexa integration. There are things you can do with Echo H/W that you cannot do with either of these phones.

    Hopefully, at some point, some of the display features of the Echo Look will be incorporated into Alexa smartphone integration so that responses can be visual as well as audible. Also it would be nice if the Look’s messaging and calling functionality could be incorporated into a smartphone.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      I only a work iPhone, although I’m allowed to use it for this sort of thing. I do some work work 🙂 on the weekend, but not usually on that phone…so I won’t be looking at it again until Monday, most likely.

      I’m with you on real phone Alexa integration…the HTC is a good step forward.

  2. It’s National Book Lovers Day: five ways to share the love (and a giveaway) | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] avatars buying a book. One new way Amazon has made that available is through Amazon Spark: Amazon Spark: a new social network (and product discovery) for iOS. It’s sort of like Instagram for Amazon products. I’ve dabbled, but it’s too […]

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