Amazon testing TikTok-like feed called Inspire to drive consumer traffic

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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The eCommerce giant, Amazon is reportedly testing the TikTok bug, joining other companies seeking to hold consumers’ attention by introducing replicas of the popular social platform.

Amazon has been testing a feed on its app that enables shoppers to scroll through TikTok-like photos and videos of products posted by other users. Using the feature, called Inspire, customers can like, save and share posts of products, and purchase items directly from the feed, according to Watchful Technologies, an Israeli-based artificial-intelligence firm that analyzes apps and has tracked the feature.

Amazon often experiments with new features, sometimes even targeting its tests to specific regions. According to research firm Marketplace Pulse, the company had been trying how to identify its brands in search results by tagging them with badges like “Amazon brand” or “Exclusive to Amazon” under regulatory pressure about its private-label business.

The experimental TikTok-like feed mostly shows photos, said Mr. Daniel Buchuk, a researcher with Watchful Technologies. But if the feature is rolled out, Mr. Buchuk expects the feed will be video-heavy as Amazon sellers create content to make it more engaging for customers.

In an effort to keep users hooked to their services so they can keep increasing their revenue, Google and Facebook, the two biggest sellers in digital advertising, have already been promoting their own TikTok clones.

YouTube rolled a “Shorts” feature limited to clips of a minute or less last year in the US after initially testing it in India during 2020, and then globally releasing it in July 2021.

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