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| July 18, 2019

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Man Kills Instagram Teen, Shares Gruesome Photos

July 16, 2019 |

Social media stories don’t get much more disturbing than this: Police say a 17-year-old Instagram personality in upstate New York was murdered by a man she met through the service, who then shared grisly photos of her body online. Police say they were trying to track down 21-year-old Brandon Clark…

California Inc.: Black market for wildlife thrives on Facebook, Instagram

July 15, 2019 |

Welcome to California Inc., the weekly newsletter of the L.A. Times Business Section.

I’m Business columnist David Lazarus, and here’s a rundown of upcoming stories this week and the highlights of last week.

Investors are feeling a tail wind after stocks ended higher last week amid renewed hopes…

L.A. Times – Business

New Instagram chief reveals plans for online retailing

June 25, 2019 |

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, has laid out his long-term vision to ramp up retail and tap the desire of the photo app’s 1 billion users to indulge in digital “window-shopping.”

In his first interview about Instagram’s business strategy since taking over in October, the 36-year-old former…

L.A. Times – Business

Amazon Spark, the retailer’s two-year-old Instagram competitor, has shut down

June 15, 2019 |

Amazon’s two-year-old Instagram competitor, Amazon Spark, is no more.

Hoping to capitalize on the social shopping trend and tap into the power of online influencers, Amazon in 2017 launched its own take on Instagram with a shoppable feed of stories and photos aimed at Prime members. The experiment known as Amazon Spark has now come to an end. However, the learnings from Spark and Amazon’s discovery tool Interesting Finds are being blended into a new social-inspired product, #FindItOnAmazon.

Amazon Spark had been a fairly bland service, if truth be told. Unlike on Instagram, where people follow their friend, interests, brands like they like, and people they find engaging or inspiring, Spark was focused on the shopping and the sale. While it tried to mock the Instagram aesthetic at times with fashion inspiration images or highly posed travel photos, it lacked Instagram’s broader appeal. Your friends weren’t there and there weren’t any Instagram Stories, for example. Everything felt too transactional.

Amazon declined to comment on the apparent shutdown of Spark, but the service is gone from the website and app.

The URL, meanwhile, redirects to the new #FoundItOnAmazon site — a site which also greatly resembles another Amazon product discovery tool, Interesting Finds.

Interesting Finds has been around since 2016, offering consumers a way to browse an almost Pinterest-like board of products across a number of categories. It features curated “shops” focused on niche themes, like a “Daily Carry” shop for toteable items, a “Mid Century” shop filled with furniture and décor, a shop for “Star Wars” fans, one for someone who loves the color pink, and so on. Interesting Finds later added a layer of personalization with the introduction of a My Mix shop filled with recommendations tailored to your interactions and likes.

The Interesting Finds site had a modern, clean look-and-feel that made it a more pleasurable way to browse Amazon’s products. Products photos appeared on white backgrounds while the clutter of a traditional product detail page was removed.

We understand from people familiar with the products that Interesting Finds is not shutting down as Spark has. But the new #FoundItOnAmazon site will take inspiration from what worked with Interesting Finds and Spark to turn it into a new shopping discovery tool.

Interesting Finds covers a wide range of categories, but #FoundItOnAmazon will focus more directly on fashion and home décor. Similar to Interesting Finds, you can heart to favorites items and revisit them later.

The #FoundItOnAmazon site is very new and isn’t currently appearing for all Amazon customers at this time. If you have it, the URL will take you there.

Though Amazon won’t talk about why its Instagram experiment is ending, it’s not too hard to make some guesses. Beyond its lack of originality and transactional nature, Instagram itself has grown into a far more formidable competitor since Spark first launched.

Last fall, Instagram fully embraced its shoppable nature with the introduction of shopping features across its app that let people more easily discover products from Instagram photos. It also added a new shopping channel and in March, Instagram launched its own in-app checkout option to turn product inspiration into actual conversions. It was certainly a big move into Amazon territory. And while that led to headlines about Instagram as the future of shopping, it’s not going to upset Amazon’s overall dominance any time soon.

In addition to the shifting competitive landscape, Spark’s primary stakeholder, Amazon VP of Consumer Engagement Chee Chew departed at the beginning of 2019 for Twilio. While at Amazon, Chew was heavily invested in Spark’s success and product managers would even tie their own efforts to Spark in order to win his favor, sources said.

For example, Amazon’s notifications section had been changed to include updates from Spark. And Spark used to sit a swipe away from the main navigation menu on mobile.

Following Spark’s closure, Amazon’s navigation has once again been simplified. It’s now a clutter-free hamburger menu. Meanwhile, Amazon’s notifications section no longer includes Spark updates — only alerts about orders, shipments, and personalized recommendations.

In addition, it’s likely that Spark wasn’t well adopted. Just 10,000 Amazon customers used it during its first 24 hours, we heard. With Chew’s departure, Spark lost its driving force. No one needed to curry favor by paying it attention, which may have also helped contribute to its shuttering.

6/14/19, 10:20 PM ET: Updated with further context after publication.



Bronny James Hits 1 Million Instagram Followers in One Day

May 28, 2019 |

Well, THAT didn’t take long!! Less than 24 hours after LeBron James lifted his social media ban on his oldest son … Bronny James has 1 MILLION followers on Instagram. The 14-year-old heir to the throne was welcomed to IG with a big shout-out from…


Israel Folau fired after anti-gay Instagram post

May 17, 2019 |

Australian rugby union star Israel Folau has been sacked after he posted an anti-gay statement on social media. – RSS Channel – World

Amy Schumer shows off newborn son in Instagram photo: ‘New kid, who dis?’

May 10, 2019 |

How adorable! Amy Schumer took Instagram early Friday morning to show off a picture of herself and her sleeping newborn son, Gene Attell Fischer.
FOX News


Kim Kardashian Says She Makes $300k to $500k Per Instagram Post!

May 4, 2019 |

Kim Kardashian just filed legal docs revealing just how incredibly powerful and influential she is … and that power and influence translates into insane cash. Kim is embroiled in a lawsuit against Missguided USA clothing company, a fast fashion…

Jessica Simpson’s breast milk photo sparks heated Instagram debate

April 5, 2019 |

Jessica Simpson sparked an Instagram debate after posting a photo which appeared to show a bottle nearly full of breast milk.
FOX News

Olivia Culpo sports bikini made of string in racy Instagram photos

March 28, 2019 |

Olivia Culpo took to Instagram this week, flaunting her toned physique as she relaxed on the beach.
FOX News