September 13, 2016
Twitter has introduced an app that enables Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa to read users’ Twitter timelines and topics currently trending on the social network. The new app is called Twitter Reader and it connects to Amazon Echo smart speakers and other Alexa-ready devices. Twitter Reader will recite individuals’ main timelines in addition to trending topics based on location. Users can ask for tweets that correspond to specific trends — or even ask if they have recently been mentioned on Twitter or if any of their tweets have been retweeted.
“The app — which appears to be the first Alexa app from a major social network — seems to be coming from Twitter the news company more than Twitter the social network, since Twitter Reader serves mainly as an audible news reader a la Alexa’s built-in Flash Briefings,” reports Marketing Land.
Twitter has yet to reveal whether it plans to use Promoted Tweets or some other means to monetize the new app. For now, it looks as if the app is using Twitter’s API, “which doesn’t include Promoted Tweets when pulling tweets from a person’s timeline or other areas of Twitter,” notes Marketing Land.
“None of this seems to be a particularly efficient way to consume the rapid-fire information that’s published to Twitter’s network, but the fact that Twitter felt compelled to launch an app on Alexa speaks to the growing importance of Amazon’s voice computing platform in consumer’s lives,” suggests TechCrunch.
According to Amazon, tens of thousands of developers are working on Alexa, and its app store now features more than 1,400 add-ons.