6th October 2023

Weekly Prompt: Amazon’s secret AI search plan & more

A new AI-powered search experience is about to change shopping on Amazon

Business Insider reported this week that Amazon is working on a secret plan to overhaul its search bar, adding a generative artificial intelligence layer that will act as a type of concierge for customers, offering expert answers and product suggestions.

The aim of the initiative dubbed ‘Project Nile’ is to improve the consumer experience and therefore drive traffic and sales. It is set to be launched on mobile first in January 2024, and initially in the U.S.

The revamped search experience is expected to be more conversational and personalized, so shoppers will be able to get real-time product comparisons and additional details, reviews, and recommendations tailored to their search context.

Amazon’s new generative AI tool will be developed by human AI trainers, who will continuously review the quality of answers the bot returns. The tool will also have access to proprietary shopping data from Amazon’s extensive product catalogue, as well as user behaviour data, and purchase and review information.

The project is a top priority for the company as it is hoping by improving the user experience it can increase conversion on mobile and boost revenues. Almost 80% of Amazon searches happen on mobile, but mobile has a much lower conversion compared to the desktop website, where conversion is significantly higher.

Sources: Business Insider (sub required), MediaPost, Search Engine Land

Additional prompts

Google is launching a generative AI-enhanced version of Assistant using Bard to provide more personalized help to users. The company says the new AI-enhanced assistant can do things like help plan your next trip, find details in your email inbox, and even create a grocery list. Read more.

Meta is considering a paid subscription to its social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, an attempt to quell concerns by the EU around data privacy and ads. Read more.

TikTok is also experimenting with an ad-free subscription offering. It is looking to charge users US$4.99 per month to eliminate ads from their TikTok experience. Read more.

Spotify will now provide Spotify Premium subscribers with access to a subset of its audiobooks catalogue without an additional charge. The service will initially launch in the U.K. and Australia starting today and will launch in the U.S. later this year, with more markets to follow. Read more.

X has started to remove headlines and descriptions from posted links. The new display format for link previews in-stream will only show the header image from posts. X's main reason for the format switch is apparently to make posts look more compact by fitting more of them in the portion of the timeline that appears on screen. In addition, Musk reportedly thinks that it could help lessen instances of clickbait. Read more.

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