Amazon opens Alexa’s Flash Briefing feature to developers


Amazon has introduced a new Flash Briefing Skill API that allows any developer to create an Alexa Skill that adds content into Alexa’s flash briefing feature. Currently there are only a few dozen sources available for customers to choose from in Alexa’s news reader, which Amazon has individually invited to participate. The addition of this new API means any developer can create a news feed that customers can add to their flash briefing.

Developers have the option to submit a flash briefing skill that either plays a short audio clip or contains text for Alexa to read. Audio clips must be less than 10 minutes in length, and text feeds must contain 1 to 5 unique items that do not exceed 1,500 characters each.

The format of Flash Briefing Skills is nearly identical to that of RSS feeds, so it will be relatively easy for most news outlets and blogs to port their existing feed into one that works with Alexa. The number of different feeds one can add to Alexa’s flash briefing is currently just over 250, but expect that number to explode once developers take advantage of this new API.


  1. Christopher Loughrey says:

    I hope they do the same with sports updates as right now it’s dreadfully useless in Europe. Currently only teams from the English Premier league and the German Bundesliga are recognised, the biggest team in the world, Barcalona, is not recognised by Alexa because it’s from the Spanish league. I don’t understand why Amazon needlessly restricted and made such functionality so limited.

  2. Joe says:

    What is the difference between Alexa on FireTV and Alexa on the Echo?

    Also, at what OS release/Version was Alexa feature introduced on FireTV (Gen1)?

  3. Duane says:

    Anybody know how custom we’ll be able to make it? Can we get the user’s location automatically or at least will there be a settings or preferences option? I can see an immediate use for this.

    • AFTVnews says:

      It doesn’t seem developers will be able to pull any information about the user from the device. Seems like they can just make a news feed and make it available. Then customers can choose to add it to their flash briefing or not. I expect there to be multiple feeds from a single news source that are tailored for individual needs. For example: CNN US, CNN World, CNN New York, CNN Los Angeles, etc…

      • John says:

        I don’t have an Echo or Fire TV yet but the news brief is something that interests me and I have been checking out the Alexa app on the Amazon website, currently it has a high number of Patch sites from various towns across America that makes it difficult to wade through, is there a way you can delete those sites from appearing when you are trying to look for major news organizations to add to your news briefing?

        • AFTVnews says:

          I’ve noticed that too. No, there is no way to filter those out. Your best bet is to use the search for now.

          I suspect the news brief section in the Alexa app will eventually turn into its own mini appstore where you’ll be able to browse news brief options by category or region.

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