Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s News Digest, essentially a rebranded version of the Summly app they purchased last year from its 18-year-old developer Nick D’Aloisio, is being tweaked to function with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s upcoming Apple Watch. D’Aloisio, now the Project Manager of Yahoo News Digest, spoke with Bloomberg today about the app and its transition to the Apple Watch.
“So the form factor is really interesting. Because it’s a small screen, what’s interesting about summarization and Summly, is it really lends itself to that. If you think about the art of condensation, the whole point is you want a small screen real estate, and so in the case of the Watch we’re really excited to bring kind of hyper-summarized, bite-sized information to that product. It’s something you have on your wrist, you check for five to ten seconds at a time, and so there’s a nice little space there we can move into,” D’Aloisio said.
Summly, which D’Aloisio sold to Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) for $30 million last year, sends daily news briefings to users, each containing a collection of news summaries. Those summaries are the product both of technology and journalism, being gathered by algorithm, but ultimately tweaked by editors.
D’Aloisio said that aside from the work being done on the app for the Apple Watch, the greatest challenge for the Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) News Digest otherwise is simply growing it and getting the word out. Retention rates are high, which means users are satisfied with the app, now it’s simply a case of growing its audience.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s work on the Yahoo News Digest is just one facet of their continuing shift to mobile and into the media space. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) also released two new digital magazines earlier this year alongside the News Digest’s unveiling, and added prominent media figure Katie Couric as a “global anchor”, who will among other things, produce video segments focused on explaining or condensing difficult concepts or news down into easier to understand chunks.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is up 12.76% in trading this month on the strength of their position in Alibaba, which makes its debut on the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow.
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