In this series, I’m going to dive a bit deeper into some of the technology behind Felix – and what exactly is happening in the magic box whenever you add a new article to your account.

In this first post, I’m going to look at how we monitor your site for new content, and how we process it at a high level.

Whenever you add a new piece of content to Felix, many things are happening in the background to create your formats.

We have around 15 mini workflows (you can think of them as microservices) that undertake a specific task.

Here is a top level diagram of each step of the or main content processing workflow, there’s a lot going on here but I’ll dive into each step below!

Step 1.  Detect duplicates.

When we’re monitoring your site’s RSS feed there are often duplicate links for the same article.  So here we run a search to see if the article already exists, and if it does we cancel the workflow.

Step 2. Create a new Article.

This creates a new entity in the Felix database for your piece of content and saves all the basic data about it.

Step 3. Add Publisher.

We attach that article to the publisher’s account in this step.

Step 4. Add Story Images from Article.

In this step we analyse the initial article’s content and extract any relevant images, then save them to the database.

Step 5. Title Correction.

Sometimes the titles for your articles come through with unwanted information, such as the date the piece was published or the publisher name.  We need to remove these to have a clear title field.

Step 6.  Add Story Summary.

In this step we extract the summary of your article.  This basically creates a 4 sentence version of your article using our AI processing – this is one of the more tricky things we do!

Step 7.  Story Summary Backup.

In some cases we can’t summarise your article accurately in which case we call an external API to help extract the information

Step 8. Encode Audio.

In this step we send an API call to Google Cloud to encode the summary we just generated as an audio file using Google’s industry leading Wavenet voice synthesis engine.

Step 9.  Append Images.

This is our new Image Autopilot feature.  In some cases there just aren’t enough images in your article for us to work with, in which case we need to add some relevant stock ones.  To do this we extract the keywords from the current slide and run a search with Unsplash to pull back relevant images.

Step 10 & 11. Add Topics.

If you’re using our Collections feature from our Publisher plan, we will analyse the content of your article and place it into a topic automatically.  This powers our Discovery UI and allows users to explore more of your content based on topic.

Step 12.  Save Story Slides.

In this step we generate a set of 5 Instagram Story slides for the article and save them to the database as images.

Step 13. Render Video.

In this step we render a video for your article based on everything we’ve processed so far.

Steps 14-17.  Admin bits.

These are steps which we need to do to tidy up after the production process, and count how many articles this user has processed in their account.

Step 18.  Email Update.

If you have this option turned on, we send you an email notification that your content has finished processing and attach all the formats we’ve generated.

I hope that’s given you a bit of an overview of some of the magic that happens behind the scenes when you add an article to Felix.  We’ll share more in the next post in this series!