Amazon is hiring for one of its start-ups focused on incorporating videos into the shopping experience.
The company announced a hiring blitz in New York on Thursday. One job posting was for a user experience designer for “Amazon Live,” a start-up that “leverages interactive streaming video to create new shopping experiences for customers,” according to the job posting.
“This is a strategic initiative for the company with strong buy-in from top management,” the posting said.
A handful of products on Amazon are listed as “Amazon Live” products. They are almost all beauty products with videos, similar to beauty product demonstrations that commonly appear on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. (A spokesperson for Amazon said that the service isn’t new, and that it supports livestream shopping experiences.)
Amazon already has a variety of “how-to” videos on its platform, ranging from short cooking tutorials to home improvement to gadget reviews. Though some seem more like advertisements, others are hosted by professionals like journalists, aestheticians or professional make-up artists, and others are hosted by popular social media personalities.
But most of these videos are pre-recorded — not “live” or “interactive” as the job posting suggests. Amazon bought Twitch, a live video platform for gamers, more than three years ago, but there hasn’t been much overlap between Twitch and Amazon’s retail business so far.
The existence of the start-up — which so far has flown under the radar — could signal an expansion of Amazon’s quiet push into more social-media-like initiatives. This expansion of the Amazon Live team comes as Amazon is also recruiting YouTube personalities to sell Amazon-listed products through an “influencers” program.
Still, it wouldn’t be the first time that Amazon dabbled in using video to sell beauty and fashion. It launched its first daily livestream show last year called “Style Code Live,” a “What not to Wear”-like show that seems to have fizzled out. Some episodes of that show are also listed under the “Amazon Live” channel, which does not seem to appear in the Amazon channel directory.