Amazon testing TikTok-style feed on its app, AI firm says

Aug 17, 2022, 3:12 PM | Updated: Aug 22, 2022, 7:34 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon appears to be getting the TikTok bug, joining other companies seeking to hold consumers’ attention by introducing replicas of the popular social platform.

The e-commerce giant 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.

The test doesn’t mean Amazon will roll out the widget to the public in its current form — or at all. Alyssa Bronikowski, an Amazon spokesperson, declined to say if the company has plans to introduce the feature to all its customers. In a statement, Bronikowski said the company is “constantly testing new features to help make customers’ lives a little easier.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the test. Citing an anonymous source, the Journal also said the company is testing the feature among a small number of Amazon employees.

Amazon often experiments with new features, sometimes even targeting its tests to specific regions. Amid regulatory pressure about its private-label business, the company had been testing how to identify its brands in search results by tagging them with badges such as “Amazon brand” or “Exclusive to Amazon,” the research firm Marketplace Pulse discovered earlier this year.

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

The corporate parents of Google and Facebook, the two biggest sellers in digital advertising, already have been pushing their own TikTok clones in bids to keep eyeballs glued to their services so they can continue to boost their revenue.

Google’s YouTube video service rolled a “Shorts” feature limited to clips of a minute or less last year in the U.S. after initially testing it in India during 2020. By June of this year, Google said YouTube Shorts was attracting more than 1.5 billion logged-in users each month, although analysts believe TikTok’s popularity is undercutting ad sales at the video site.

Those concerns were elevated by Google’s latest quarterly results, which revealed YouTube’s year-over-year growth in ad sales had slowed to its slowest pace since public disclosures of the site’s revenue began.

Meanwhile, Facebook now offers its own take on TikTok, a short-form video feature called Reels, on its Instagram app as well as its main social networking service, which are now operate as part of Meta Platforms. Earlier this year, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Reels accounted for more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram.

But it’s not clear that engagement is helping to drive ad sales after Meta recently reported its first year-over-year drop in quarterly revenue since Facebook went public a decade ago.


AP Business Writer Michael Liedtke contributed to this report from San Francisco.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incid...

Associated Press

American Airlines CEO calls removal of Black passengers from Phoenix flight ‘unacceptable’

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incident in which several Black passengers were removed from a flight in Phoenix.

4 hours ago

FILE - Crystal Baziel holds the Pan-African flag Monday, June 19, 2023, during Reedy Chapel A.M.E C...

Associated Press

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Since it was designated a federal […]

2 days ago

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

6 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

7 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

10 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Amazon testing TikTok-style feed on its app, AI firm says