During the 2018 IFV conference in Berlin last week, Amazon announced that Alexa has 50 000 skills worldwide, 20 000 devices and it’s used by 3500 brands. Big numbers, what does it tell us, though?
Precisely last week, but before the announcement, I did an episode on voice space fragmentation. The main highlight relevant to the latest announcement by Amazon that I mentioned there is that Amazon has the developer ecosystem and no one is close doing the education and evangelist work Alexa team is doing with developers. And that it’s playing with the number of skills worldwide and that will continue to play out. Today, as companies are looking for developer attention, every company should have developer evangelists, no HR or sales. This is not a new concept, it’s just taken to a different level. And the biggest companies get this, but it’s not enough to put some tutorial out there, it’s the careful work of listening and responding to developers concerns, educate, and relate to developers at a human level in social media. I understand not all companies have the resources to pull this, but the future voice space is going to be more fragmented and more companies will try to stand out. The authenticity of your interactions with the users of your platform is going to be (for Amazon is) cornerstone.
Amazon Alexa team is currently doing that better than any other smart assistant platform (I will argue better than anyone else). And it’s driving hundreds of thousands of developers from more than 100 countries, even those where Alexa is not available yet. As a platform the goal should be to attract people to build on top of it. Developer attention is the currency today for platforms, especially worldwide available platforms like smart assistants.
For all the above, is natural that brands are landing their voice strategy on Alexa first. Again, that will continue to be the case while the more developers are in the platform. That includes a tool ecosystem that it’s bigger for Alexa, tools also start providing availability in Alexa first. So if you are a brand looking for a shift of your digital strategy towards voice, Alexa should be starting point for this remarks alone.
The other relevant news for you starting this week is the Google Assistant bilingual support. As you guys know I’m one hundred percent behind internationalization and translation as key elements (I even went ahead to name it one of the infinity stones for voice) for voice apps and naturally this is a great news to hear. It also paints the picture for future development and set users expectations to a new level. Once users get use to the feature it’s going to be expected from every assistant. In the video promotion you can also see how it’s remarked the use for learning new languages or teaching kids new languages.
Last but not least, I’m also excited for the Apple event announced for September 12. I just want to see what they are gonna come up with, especially with Siri, the shortcuts app and any other conversational development.
Before wrapping up, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening. The number of listens of the briefing are growing consistently and we are reaching people from every latitude of the planet. Thank you. Now go ahead and continue to make this happen by sharing this with someone that needs to know about voice platforms.
Videos demonstrating Google Assistant bilingual support:
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