Amazon to pay developers for more Alexa 'skills'

Amazon has confirmed that developers can now earn money for creating Alexa skills across more skill categories.

Alexa is Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant software designed to run in line with the firm’s own ‘smart’ speaker, Echo. Skills are chunks of software that drive voice driven application functionalities on the Alexa platform.

Each month, developers of skills in eligible categories with the highest customer engagement in the US, UK, and Germany are paid by Amazon.

In May 2017, Amazon began rewarding developers of top skills in the Games, Trivia & Accessories category.

The firm has now added six more categories: Education & Reference, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Music & Audio and Productivity.

Engaging skills

Amazon says that the most successful skills are often born voice-first. From the easy-to-say invocation to the user interface design and architecture.

“Our voice design guide is a valuable resource to learn more about planning your script, keeping it brief and conversational, ensuring it catches the various ways that people may say things, simplifying the user flow, providing ways to get help, and more. The most engaging skills are easy to use,” said the firm, in an official blog.

Good skills are also unique (or at least as unique as possible), they make life easier and are often games in and of themselves. Really good skills are also dynamic in their presentation of content that changes regularly. Daily Affirmation for example provides a daily, uplifting, positive thought; and new affirmations are added frequently.

Amazon provides other tools in this space to view metrics for each skill developed in the Alexa Skills Kit section of the Amazon Developer Console.

Depending on each developer’s need and expected traffic, he or she can also increase memory allocation. The default memory allocation for each Lambda function is 128 MB. Allocating more memory will provide more CPU power to a function and will execute it faster. When functions run faster, this can reduce concurrent executions for the same amount of invocations.