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Amazon is adding a new TikTok-like feature that showcases products on the platform in a scrollable feed of short videos and photos.
The new feature, called Inspire, lets users discover and buy products from the content created on the platform by influencers, brands and other customers, the company noted.
It will initially roll out in early December for select customers in the US as a lightbulb icon in the Amazon app and is expected to become widely available across the country over the following months, the e-commerce giant said on Thursday.
To use the feature, Amazon instructs users to open its shopping app and tap the lightbulb icon in the navigation bar.
The platform then asks users to choose up to 20 interests, including gaming, maekup and interior design.
User feeds will then be personalised with photos and video content customised for them.
To view the reviews for a product, users just have to tap the content’s thumbnail.
“Inspire was designed to make it easy to explore new products, discover ideas, and seamlessly shop content created by other customers, influencers, and brands they love,” Amazon noted.
Screengrab from Amazon’s US webpage reveals the new feature called Inspire
The new feed appears to have similarities to both TikTok and Instagram, showcasing both short-form video and photo content.
Users can also “like” the content on the feed by double-tapping anywhere on the screen just like one “likes” posts on Instagram.
TikTok also appears to be expanding into the e-commerce space even though the platform faces partial bans in several US states due to cybersecurity concerns.
Axios reported in October that the Chinese video-sharing platform could directly challenge Amazon in the US as it seeks to build its own product fulfillment centres there.
Citing new job openings posted in the past, the report noted that TikTok could be looking at e-commerce as its next major revenue stream.
“By providing warehousing, delivery, and customer service returns, our mission is to help sellers improve their operational capability and efficiency, provide buyers a satisfying shopping experience and ensure fast and sustainable growth of TikTok Shop,” the Chinese company noted in one job listing.
The job postings suggest TikTok may be attempting to work with vendors to handle the shipping and transportation of products to build its own e-commerce supply chain.