Amazon Rapids is an Android and iOS app that launched in 2016 and it features short stories for kids. All of the content is delivered in the style of an instant messaging app and are told through the lens of characters chatting with each other, one message at a time. Over the course of the past two years Amazon charged $2.99 per month for access, but they have just ditched the subscription model and the app is now completely free.
All of the stories available on Amazon Rapids are aimed at kids ages 5 to 12 and generally just silly and fun. They’re not meant to addict kids through the use of cliffhangers and timeouts, nor are they scary. Some of these stories will also be available to listen to through Alexa’s Storytime mode, which was launched last summer. All you need to do is install the skill and ask Alexa to read you a bedtime story.
Last Summer Amazon pushed out a big update to the Rapids app, called Signature Stories which brings new stories from children’s TV shows, Niko and the Sword of Light and Danger & Eggs, to the app. Kids can read along with some of their favorite characters and celebrity voice talent including Aidy Bryant in Danger & Eggs and Tom Kenny in Niko and the Sword of Light. These original stories are authored by the shows’ writers and give a glimpse into unique adventures that take place beyond the TV series storylines.
The future of Rapids might be in serious doubt. New content added to the platform is few and far between. Amazon initially launched the program to cash in on the growing popularity of chat based stories from Wattpad Tap and Hooked.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.