An invocation name is the title users use to open your skill. For example, Alexa, open Trump’s Latest Tweet. ‘Trump’s Latest Tweet’ is the invocation name. An invocation name must meet the following requirements:
- The skill invocation name must not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of an entity or person. This means that we can not use copyrighted materials or phrases in our invocation name. ‘Trump’s Twitter’ would infringe on Twitter’s intellectual property rights, but we can use the word tweet.
- One-word invocation names are not allowed, unless:
- The invocation name is unique to your brand/intellectual property, or
- (German skills only) The invocation name is a compound of two or more words. In this case, the word must form an actual word in the skill’s language to ensure that Alexa can recognize it.
Make sure your invocation name is more than one word. Our word is three words, so that’s all good. You can only have one word invocation names if the name is your brand i.e Amazon.
- Invocation names which are names of people or places (for example, “molly”, “seattle”) are not allowed, unless they contain other words in addition to the name (for example, “molly’s horoscope”). Make sure, if you’re using a name or place, that you have other words in the name. Our name is ‘Trump’s’ and we have ‘latest tweet’ as additional words.
- Two-word invocation names are not allowed if one of the words is a definite article (“the”), indefinite article (“a”, “an”) or preposition (“for”, “to”, “of”). For example, “a bicycle”, “an espresso”, “to amuse”, “for fun”. Make sure that if you have a two word invocation name, none of the words are ‘the’, ‘a’, ‘for’, etc.
- The invocation name must not contain any of the Alexa skill launch phrases and connecting words. Launch phrase examples include “launch”, “ask”, “tell”, “load”, “begin”, and “enable”. Connecting word examples include “to”, “from”, “by”, “if”, “and”, “whether”. Just don’t use words which are shown above.
- The invocation name must not contain the wake words “Alexa”, “Amazon”, “Echo”, or the words “skill” or “app”. It’s unlikely you’d want to use these, but steer clear of these words.
- The invocation name must contain only lower-case alphabetic characters, spaces between words, possessive apostrophes (for example, “sam’s science trivia”), or periods used in abbreviations (for example, “a. b. c.”). Other characters like numbers must be spelled out. For example, “twenty one”. The name must be easy to pronounce correctly and be phonetically distinct to avoid being misinterpreted as other similar sounding words. For acronyms, the invocation name must contain single letters, each followed by a period and a space. The invocation name cannot spell out phonemes. This doesn’t apply to us, but if I made a skill about the US Election 2018, my invocation name would be ‘U. S. Election’.
- The invocation name must not create confusion with existing Alexa features. If your skill invocations overlap with common Alexa commands, users may get confused by Alexa’s response and not enable your skill. For example, if your invocation name is too similar to the built-in “weather” command, Alexa may sometimes respond with your skill and sometimes respond with the built-in weather feature, providing an inconsistent user experience. This more or less means, don’t copy Amazon’s main skills, like weather.