Amazon has shuttered its Spark platform that debuted in 2017 as a potential competitor to Instagram. The Spark URL now redirects to another shopping page with the hashtag #FoundItOnAmazon, as was first reported by TechCrunch.
"Spark is not gone entirely," an Amazon spokesperson told Retail Dive by email. "We've pivoted and narrowed the experience based on what resonated with customers – shoppable images and collections in fashion and home decor."
Users can browse themed collections made by other Amazon shoppers. Clicking the heart icon on an image saves the item to a #FoundItOnAmazon list.
Amazon Spark has evolved in the same way it came onto the social shopping scene in 2017: quietly. The endlessly scrolling Instagram-meets-Pinterest product board may have lacked the organic feel of other social media channels, and the newest iteration brings it closer to actual social activity, if only via hashtag.
"We've changed the name to #FoundItOnAmazon to reflect the tag that influencers are using on social media to share their great finds with others," the Amazon spokesperson noted. The feature is available to all Amazon App customers and a "large portion" of desktop customers, but the Onsite Associates Program that allows users to post on #FoundItOnAmazon is available by invitation only.
#FoundItOnAmazon isn't much different from Amazon's Interesting Finds feature. While the former focuses on women's apparel and home decor, the latter offers novelty items across categories alongside user-curated collections. At the time of Spark's debut (shortly after that of Interesting Finds), it appeared that Amazon was heading toward an independent social media channel for sharing product photos and in-depth reviews.
But after a combined lack of enthusiasm from influencers and no obvious way for brands to get involved, Digiday noted in 2018, the retailer may be looking at further consolidation of its social shopping efforts. When Spark launched, it was available only to U.S. consumers using the Amazon app, perhaps as a means of increasing user time spent shopping by mobile. Now, the e-commerce giant is testing video ads in its app that appear when users search for items, focusing on a new method of product discovery.