You walk into your kitchen and say, "Alexa, what's going on today?"
The cylindrical Amazon Echo Dot on your counter plays a soundbite from the president's latest news conference followed by a voice memo from your mom.
What was once a voice-controlled personal assistant is becoming a way for family members and friends to stay in touch, making it a stickier experience with some of the qualities that people get from social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Loads of consumers are going to be unwrapping their Echo Dots this weekend after the gadget was the best-selling item on Prime Day, Amazon's annual shopping gala. The Dot, already Amazon's most affordable Echo, was marked down $15 to $34.99 on Tuesday.
According to Amazon, Prime members purchased seven times more Amazon Echo devices globally than on Prime Day 2016.
"The device gets better with everyone that joins the network," said Jonathan Frankel, founder and CEO of consumer device start-up Nucleus, in an interview. "Before the addition of communication features, the fact that a million other people owned Echo devices didn't matter to you at all."