This appears to be a play by Amazon to snag some of the giveaway traffic that, until now, has been owned by social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Amazon is banking on the automation function: As long as you have a valid Amazon account and your prize items (you can have up to 50) are on Amazon.com and under $5,000 (sorry, no $27,000 walk-in refrigerators), you can set up a giveaway with just a few clicks. Amazon will handle the giveaway itself, notify the winners, handle shipping, and even write up the tax report.
Amazon Giveaways come in two forms. Choose “first come, first served,” and the earliest entrant wins the prize, whereas a “lucky number” giveaway gives the prize to every nth contestant. Only U.S. residents can participate–although if your prizes total above $500, sorry, Rhode Islanders, you’re out of luck.
The Verge points out that one sweepstakes option requiring entrants to follow the giver on Twitter before they can enter is borderline follower-buying–and yeah, sure, it basically is. Regardless, the Amazon name lends credibility to your giveaway: Having Amazon’s rules bind your contest assures your entrants that they aren’t being scammed.
Amazon is already promoting the sweepstakes maker via #AmazonGiveaway hashtag, and has arranged several partner giveaways to get folks into the spirit.