Is Amazon Spark primed for new social network success?


amazon spark

By Mark Schaefer

Starting a new social network is a perilous prospect. The battlefield is littered with companies that had big ideas and little results …

  • Meerkat
  • Ello
  • Path
  • Google+

It’s a tricky business. A new social platform needs to solve a unique customer problem or find an under-served niche and then avoid assassination by Facebook (by having intellectual property and a huge war chest to protect it).

It has been so difficult breaking into the pantheon of elite social networks that in the past five years there has only been one new entry (Snapchat) that is attracting significant advertising dollars.

Until now.

Amazon Spark is news

This month Amazon launched its own social network, Spark. Amazon Spark is available through the mobile app and is sort of a mash-up of Instagram and Yelp. And I think it’s going to be a hit for several reasons.

It passes the Schaefer sniff test: It occupies a unique niche and Amazon has the war chest to do it right. Also, unlike Google, which seems to use its best customers as guinea pigs as it tries to “fail fast,” Amazon is more methodical. When it introduces something new, it is usually done right.

Another reason I think this is going to work is because it is addictive. Since you get to tailor your experience, you only see posts about products that will delight you. It’s like flipping through an Instagram account of awesome products and how people are using them.

It’s early days. Will it work? Who knows, but as a marketer, I am certainly paying attention to ANY significant new effort from Amazon and I think this is a winner.

And there’s more.

In our new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I discuss this new social network and more. We also get into:

  • Projections of augmented reality dominance
  • YouTube versus Netflix in the video wars
  • Lessons in customer service (or the lack of it)

Also, Tom and I experiment with “Chipmunk Speed.” You’ll have to hear it to believe it. You won’t want to miss this! Simply click here to listen.

If you can’t access the episode above, click on this link to listen to Episode 109

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Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here:

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