Snapchat’s New Feature Lets You Take a Photo of an Item to Buy it on Amazon

Snapchat Amazon partnership

Multimedia messaging app Snapchat is partnering up with Amazon to make it easier for you to buy whatever you come across in real life.

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All you need to do is point your Snapchat camera at a product or barcode, it’ll then redirect you to an Amazon pop-up card for that product or something similar, with their price, thumbnail image, review score and Prime availability. When you tap on a product, you’ll then be sent to Amazon’s app or site to buy it.

Snapchat ascertains if you’re scanning an object, a song or QR Snapcode, and Amazon’s machine vision tech then recognizes artwork, logo, package covers or other identifying marks to find the product. Initially, Snapchat is making this service available to a small percentage of U.S. users before the company considers other countries.

“Beginning this week, we’re testing a new way to search for products on Amazon right from the Snapchat camera,” the company announced.

“We’ll be rolling it out slowly, but we wanted to announce it to everyone at the same time.”

Snapchat Amazon partnership

It isn’t yet clear how precisely the Snap camera will identify products, but it’s an opportunity for the company to integrate other types of image-based searches into its app.

Snapchat would not disclose any financial terms of the partnership. The company could be earning a referral fee for each item you purchase from Amazon, or it could just be trying to make its cameras more dynamic.

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So why is Amazon partnering up with Snapchat?

“I think, for snapchat, with 300 million monthly users, most of them young – a market that Amazon has been trying to tap at all sorts of different ways with services like Prime Student,” says Brad Stone of Bloomberg Technology.

This camera feature for buying items isn’t anything new. Alibaba Group Holding’s shopping platform Taobao Marketplace had this feature for several years.