Amazon boasts that there are currently more than 80,000 Alexa skills, and that number is about to grow. The company will now allow people who have created their own skills using Alexa Skill Blueprints to publish their creations to the Alexa Skills store.
Currently, there are 50 skills blueprints available, which range from Dad jokes to chore charts to holiday greetings, and Amazon said that it's adding four additional Blueprints: Flash Briefing, so that you can create a custom news update; a Blog Blueprint for WordPress users will let bloggers deliver posts via audio; and University and Spiritual Talks blueprints can be used by universities and religious organizations to deliver audio content to listeners.
This doesn't mean that Amazon Skills will become filled with conspiracy theorists and hate speech; an Amazon representative said that the company applies a standard profanity filter for all Blueprints, and that anyone who wants to publish a skill or share it with others needs to "abide by our Content Guidelines and not contain material that is inappropriate for customers of Alexa." Additionally, every skill that gets submitted for publication must go through a review process (which typically takes 1 to 2 days) that "covers several topics to ensure a positive experience for users."
The ability to make your own Alexa skill is an interesting feature that separates Amazon's voice assistant from others, and lets you personalize your in-home Alexa experience. Allowing individuals and organizations publish their own skills more easily is a clever move for a company that wants to increase the popularity and penetration of its smart assistant into more homes.