Being faced with intense competition from retail-savvy social media rivals may have pushed Evan Spiegel and Mark Zuckerberg to join forces with e-commerce giants. This month, both Meta (META) and Snap announced partnerships with Amazon (AMZN) to introduce shopping features to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. The collaborations are intended to encourage more users to shop spontaneously while they use the sites—a strategy pursued by competitors like TikTok. Users will be able to link their Amazon accounts to Meta- and Snap-owned platforms and make in-app purchases from the Amazon ads that appear in their feeds.
These partnerships put Meta and Snap in more direct competition with TikTok, which is building out retail capabilities like shoppable videos and live shopping through TikTok Shop. And for Amazon, teaming up with major social media platforms may help it compete against Chinese e-commerce rivals like Temu and Shein as they increasingly try to break into the U.S. and global markets. Amazon has previously made unsuccessful attempts to build its own social media apps to rival TikTok and Instagram with Inspire and the now-defunct Spark.
Zuckerberg and Spiegel see opportunities with in-app shopping
The Amazon partnership marks Zuckerberg’s latest effort to make Meta, among many things, an online shopping platform. Since 2020, he’s sought different ways for Facebook and Instagram to compete with major retailers. He even said he wanted Meta to compete with Amazon in e-commerce. Those plans have proved difficult as the digital shopping market turned out to be less lucrative than he had hoped. The lack of return on this bet was one of the reasons Meta announced plans to lay off 11,000 employees in November 2022.
Meta has been working to encourage users to make in-app purchases on Instagram and Facebook this year. In April, the company announced the testing of a policy that would require retailers selling on its platforms to enable in-app checkout, rather than linking it out to external sites.
Although Snap hasn’t emphasized shopping the way Meta has, the parent company of Snapchat has been looking for ways to build up ad revenue. The company finally increased its revenue this past quarter after two prior quarters of declines, but it is still not profitable.
This is also not Snap’s first time teaming up with Amazon on a shopping feature. Amazon Fashion worked with Snapchat on an augmented reality (A.R.) experience last year that allowed users to test eyewear using Snapchat filters before purchasing on Amazon. Snapchat has also used this feature to attract advertisers. Snap has rolled out A.R. shopping services for other businesses to use Snapchat’s try-on filters on their own websites.
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Read the original story Snap, Meta Ink Deals With Amazon to Offer In-App Shopping Features and others by Nhari Djan at Observer.