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Skills vs Features

There are now over 5,000 Skills on Alexa to tap into. That’s up from less than 100 a year ago. It’s like that if the Skills marketplace stays the same and Amazon’s efforts in this space continue, there may be over 25,000 by the end of 2017 (pure conjecture — not based on any mathematical model).

However, it’s likely that of the 5,000,000 Echos (and maybe double that in Alexa endpoints), a small fraction have Skills enabled and of those, only a few are used regularly. It’s likely a very long tail with a few superusers at the very front.

Amazon has been doing a good job of marketing skills to Alexa users, including some great ads:

However, what most people want to access are features, without the invocation. It’s likely that the features that users of Alexa are accessing is growing and that many would like the Skills to be incorporated as these.

As the number of Skills grows, one of the challenges is going to be on discovery of Skills. How do I know a Skill is really great without needing to test it out. It’s likely that only a few are ones I’d use daily.

Full disclosure — I only use one Skill regularly — the Ubi Portal Skill to initiate phone calls. I used to use 7 Minute Workout but have switched programs (didn’t make enough of a difference).

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