Alexa Skill Blueprints Arrive in Japan
Amazon announced late yesterday that Alexa Skill Blueprints are now available in Japan. Skill Blueprints are templates that enable any Alexa user to fill out a form and create a locally accessible skill on their registered devices. The templates include standardized Alexa skill formats such as trivia games, flash cards, question & answer, and Japan users can also create a Spring Letter. Japanese users have just eight Blueprints to choose from compared to over 50 for U.S. users today. Blueprints were first introduced for U.S. users in April 2018 and launched with 21 templates so you can expect the Japanese version to expand over time.
Will Not Increase Published Alexa Skills in Japan
One thing Japanese users cannot do is publish their Blueprints to the Alexa skill store for others to access. In February 2019, this became an option for U.S. users. That change means U.S. Alexa users can simply fill out a form and publish an Alexa skill that anyone can use, no coding required. That feature remains limited to the U.S. today so it won’t impact Alexa skill counts in Japan which stood at 2,364 in January 2019, well behind all of the English-speaking countries.