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Amazon closes down its shopping-focused Instagram rival Spark (updated)

Spark was a discovery shopping service with shoppable feeds.
kasinv via Getty Images
kasinv via Getty Images
Mariella Moon
Mariella Moon|@mariella_moon|June 15, 2019 5:04 PM

Amazon Spark, the e-commerce giant's social network, has seemingly shut down after only a couple of years. If you don't even know what it is, we don't blame you. You can think of it as Amazon's version of Instagram, except it focuses on shopping discovery and was never quite as popular. Users can tag products available on Amazon on their posts, since the service is specifically aimed at Prime subscribers. As TechCrunch has noted, the service has vanished from the face of the internet, with the amazon.com/spark URL now redirecting to the new #FoundItOnAmazon page.

A spokesperson told us:

"We are always experimenting with new experiences to delight customers. We are currently testing #FoundItOnAmazon, a new experience to inspire shoppers looking for fashion styles and home décor. #FoundItOnAmazon is based on the insights from these past experiments. It is currently available to a portion of our customers."

The publication has also noticed that Spark is no longer a swipe away from the mobile site's navigation menu. Amazon went back to using a hamburger menu and no longer shows Spark updates like it used to. Spark's FAQs are still online, but if you Google the service and click on the links, you'll find that most of them don't work anymore.

While the spokesperson didn't give us more details about Spark's fate, TC says one of the possible reasons why the social network shut down was because the Amazon VP of Consumer Engagement, Chee Chew, left the company for Twilio in early 2019. Chew was heavily invested in Spark, and Amazon might have decided that keeping it alive is no longer worth it without him.

Update 6/16 1:20PM ET: An Amazon spokesperson told Engadget that Spark was "not gone entirely," and instead characterized this as the company having "pivoted and narrowed" to the #FoundItOnAmazon project. People had "already been using" that hashtag on social networks, so it changed the name to reflect that, the spokesperson said.

Amazon closes down its shopping-focused Instagram rival Spark (updated)