Yahoo Buys Summly to Improve Mobile Information Accessiblity

3 minute read
Katie Ingram avatar

Internet company, Yahoo has announced that it has acquired Summly, a mobile content reading assistance tool and will use the technology to improve how information is accessed.

Improving The Mobile Yahoo! Experience

In the onset of a primarily mobile world,the way people see and gather information is constantly changing. Yahoo! has found that despite this change in technology, most websites and articles are formatted for mouse clicks, something that mobile devices don’t have, which hinders how well the site functions on a tablet or smartphone.

Mobile devices are at the center of how we engage with the people, experiences and interests we love,” saidAdam Cahan, Senior Vice President of Mobile and Emerging Products.“Across Yahoo!, we’re focused on creating beautiful experiences that people are excited to use every day -- products that inspire and delight.”

Summly is tool that Yahoo! has had its eye on since December, according to Kara Swisher of AllThingsD. It solves this mobile experience problem by giving users a summary of the article, webpage or search results they are trying to browse.

Other terms of the acquisition such as how Summly will be used weren't released, but Cahan said the technology will be seen in Yahoo! products soon. Financial details surrounding the acquisition also haven’t been released as thedeal is expected to close during the company’s second quarter.

Who Are Summly?

Summly was founded in 2011, by 15 year old Nick D'Aloisio from London, England with backing from individuals and companies such asStephen Fry, Yoko Ono and Betaworks. D'Aloisio aimed to create an algorithm- based “summarization technology“ tool that would improve the mobile reading experience and make it easier for readers to access the information and articles they were looking for. 

Learning Opportunities

People have tried to summarize news before, and not always with great success,” said Giles Turnbull of Cult of Mac. “Summly does summaries well, presumably because its algorithm works better. The presentation of news is good, and helpful for people on the move and in a hurry.”


An example of a summary done by Summly.

Summly activity can also be shared to Facebook and Twitter. There iscurrently an iPhone app for Summly, which is expected to be discontinued as the company transitions to Yahoo!

Big Changes at Yahoo!

This acquisition isjust a piece of the search personalization and partnership-based companythat Yahoo! is trying to create under the direction of Marisa Mayer who became CEO in July 2012. She has instigated a string of updates to improve the company’s relevance and functionality which have included a redesigned homepage and an updated version of Yahoo's webmail service.

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