Amazon Announces Alexa Notifications Feature Coming Soon

Today Amazon announced a new notifications feature is coming soon to Alexa. Users will be able to opt-in to notifications through the Alexa app to receive alerts via a chime and a pulsing green light when there is new information available. In the announcement, Amazon states that AccuWeather, The Washington Post, Just Eat and Life360 will be some of the first companies to update their Alexa skills to include notifications. David Isbitski further explains in an Amazon Alexa blog:

“When users enable notifications on a skill like The Washington Post, the skill will send status updates to the device. Users can simply ask, “Alexa, what did I miss?” or “Alexa, what are my notifications?” and Alexa will inform users of the latest breaking news.”

Who will be the first?

While Amazon announced its notification feature for Alexa today, it is not yet available for developers. Instead, the blog writes it will be in “the coming months” and asks developers to sign up to receive a notification for when it does launch. Last month, Voicebot wrote about how Google is working on the same capabilities for Google Assistant and Google Home. Both companies need this to increase user engagement and skill retention rates for their respective devices.

VoiceLabs found that the retention rate is only 3% for a voice application being active during the second week of its initial use. Notifications are an important feature to keep users engaged especially when considering how they changed mobile phone use. A Localytics study found push notifications increased app engagement by 88%. Any increase to the current retention rate would be a win for both Amazon and Google and now it’s just a matter of who will be first. Amazon just put Google on the defensive by being the first to launch a voice calling feature for Alexa. And now it has made it clear notifications are next. Will Google be beat again? Stay tuned.