TikTok’s success inspires Amazon to launch its own short-form video app for product discovery
Amazon is looking to tap into the success of TikTok with the launch of its own short-form video app, called Inspire. The app, which is set to launch to certain customers in December, will be available on Amazon’s shopping app and will become more personalized over time based on how users interact with products.
The move comes as TikTok’s powerful algorithm has been credited with launching successful businesses and reportedly driving shortages of various foods that go viral on the app. TikTok also has an integration with Shopify and an e-commerce platform for sellers called TikTok shop.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Oliver Messenger, director of shopping at Amazon, said: “Video-based content really helps [customers] to understand the product more.” Amazon has reportedly been testing the product since August and is already working with its influencers to create content for the app.
The move follows other major companies that have struggled to compete with TikTok and have subsequently launched similar products, including Meta Platforms, which introduced its own short-form video platform on Instagram, called Reels.
Despite facing increased regulatory scrutiny, TikTok has maintained its strength even amid a difficult environment for its peers, with layoffs at companies such as Meta Platforms, Twitter, and Amazon. The company is reportedly still hiring, despite reports of an intense culture.
In a statement to Entrepreneur, Messenger said: “We invent every day to make shopping easy and fun. Inspire is our new shopping experience that connects Amazon customers with shoppable content created by other customers, the latest influencers, and a wide range of brands.”
Amazon’s move into short-form video comes as the company looks to diversify its revenue streams. In October, the company reported third-quarter profits of $2.1bn, up from $2.1bn in the same period last year. However, the company’s chief financial officer, Brian Olsavsky, warned that profitability in the fourth quarter is expected to be lower than the same period last year due to increased investments in COVID-19-related expenses and other areas.
Despite this, Amazon’s share price has risen by more than 70% in 2020, as the pandemic has led to a surge in online shopping. The company is currently worth more than $1.5tn.