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Google Reportedly Buys Wavii News App

Written by Oliver Pyper | 24 Apr 2013

Seattle-based startup Wavii has become the latest company to be bought out by Google, reported TechCrunch yesterday.

An unnamed source said the search engine giant had snapped up the startup for around USD 30 million.

The Wavii app lets users follow celebrities, politicians and news stories, "the same way you follow your friends on Facebook", according to the Wavii website.

It does this by summarising stories into a feed, and adding related photos and events.

Several weeks ago, Yahoo! purchased similar app Summly - for a similar amount.

Prior to the reported acquisition, Apple was apparently expressing interest in the Wavii app, and was engaged in a "bidding war" with Google. According to TechCrunch, Apple may have wanted to incorporate Wavii's summarisation algorithms into its Siri software - which lets users ask their iPhones or iPads questions, and get relevant results in return.

It appears that Google may be looking to incorporate Wavii's technology directly into its products too. TechCrunch reports that Wavii's team will join Google's Knowledge Graph division.

Knowledge Graph provides searchers with enhanced search results, based on technology that attempts to determines the searcher's intent. These enhanced results include information from Wikipedia, and the CIA World Factbook.

Some have suggested that Google is placing increasing importance on these 'semantic search' results, which could change the way the SEO industry works.

As yet, neither Google nor Wavii has commented on the reports.

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