According to one AI company, it seems that Amazon has caught the TikTok bug and is following the trend of creating imitations of the viral social media app. The online retail giant has been experimenting with a TikTok-style feed on its app where users can view product photographs and videos uploaded by other customers.
Watchful Technologies, an Israeli artificial-intelligence company that tracks apps, has observed a feature called Inspire that allows users to like, bookmark, and share product posts as well as buy items directly from the feed.
It’s important to note that just because Amazon ran a test on the widget doesn’t indicate they plan to release it to customers in its current form. Amazon representative Alyssa Bronikowski would not confirm or deny rumours that the retail giant intends to roll out the service to all of its customers. The company is “constantly exploring new features to help make customers’ life a little easier,” a statement from Bronikowski reads.
In the beginning, the test was reported by the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reports, based on information provided by an unnamed source, that Amazon is beta testing the feature with a select group of its employees.Amazon frequently tests new features, sometimes limiting those tests to select geographic areas. Marketplace Pulse, a research organisation, reported that early this year, Amazon was trying how to identify its brands in search results by marking them with badges like “Amazon brand” or “Exclusive to Amazon” in response to regulatory pressure about its private-label business.
The current iteration of the experimental TikTok-like feed primarily displays photographs, according to Watchful Technologies researcher Daniel Buchuk. But if the feature is implemented, Buchuk predicts that videos would dominate the feed as Amazon vendors produce material to attract buyers’ attention. TikTok’s parent companies, Google and Facebook, are the two largest distributors of digital advertising, and they have been actively promoting their own TikTok clones in an effort to keep users engaged on their platforms and, by extension, increase their revenue.
After piloting the feature in India in 2020, Google’s YouTube video service put out a “Shorts” feature restricted to recordings of one minute or less last year in the United States. According to Google, there were more than 1.5 billion monthly logged-in viewers of YouTube Shorts as of June this year. However, analysts feel that TikTok’s success is hurting ad revenue on YouTube.
Google’s most recent quarterly statistics added to these worries by showing that YouTube’s year-over-year increase in ad sales had dropped to the worst pace since the site’s revenue began being publicly disclosed.
Meanwhile, as part of Meta Platforms, Facebook’s Instagram app and primary social networking site both now provide a short-form video function similar to TikTok called Reels. According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, more than 20% of Instagram users’ time is spent on Reels.
Meta recently reported its first year-over-year loss in quarterly revenue since Facebook went public a decade ago, so it’s not apparent that engagement is helping to increase ad sales.