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February 21, 2018Aaron Tang
A flash briefing skill is a great a way to provide daily content to customers by delivering pre-recorded audio clips and text-to-speech (TTS) updates. Flash briefing skills often include updates from popular broadcasters and blogs, recent headlines, and weather.
To drive ongoing engagement with your flash briefing skill, it’s important to continually update and maintain your skill’s content. Follow the tips below to provide a great customer experience by avoiding some of the most common pitfalls with maintaining flash briefing skills.
The best way to engage the customers and encourage ongoing usage of your flash briefing skill is to update your feed content at regular intervals. You can choose to update your content at least weekly or as often as hourly or daily. When you update the feed content, ensure the “Date” field reflects the freshness of the content. Alexa will not read or play any flash briefing feed item with a date field older than seven days. Reference our technical documentation to make sure you are using the correct date field format.
The audio/video content that Alexa plays is provided in the content feeds you include in your skill. While including audio capabilities allows you to create richer, more immersive voice experiences, skill builders often encounter challenges with inconsistent volume or loudness; the audio is either too loud or too quiet compared to Alexa’s TTS. To avoid these types of volume issues, test your audio content for volume levels and, if necessary, normalize them. For guidance on volume levels and some suggested tools, see our documentation on normalizing the loudness of audio content.
Your flash briefing skill’s feed should adhere to the specification as per the feed format details. Not adhering to these format requirements or missing some of the required feed details leads to failed certification. And updates to the feed that don’t adhere to these standards will result in the skill failing to play the audio/video content, which leads to a poor customer experience. Ensure your feeds adhere to the prescribed format to deliver the optimal user experience.
By following these best practices, you’ll be able to provide fresh and engaging content to customers who have enabled your skill. Check out these additional resources for more information:
Every month, developers can earn money for eligible skills that drive some of the highest customer engagement. Developers can increase their level of skill engagement and potentially earn more by improving their skill, building more skills, and making their skills available in in the US, UK and Germany. Learn more about our rewards program and start building today.