There are, of course, countless messaging apps that support voice and video calling. Amazon is banking on Alexa’s popularity, and the convenience of having an Echo in the home, to jump-start its late market entrance. The pitch is that it might be easier to call your parents or grandparents through their Echo — a simple, voice-based interface anyone can understand — rather than Skype or Hangouts, which can often feel convoluted to set up. Apple has used the same strategy to great effect with FaceTime. Amazon will, however, have an uphill battle persuading people to ditch their messaging app of choice and use Alexa regularly, if not full-time.