Yahoo! snaps up Summly as shift in focus on mobile over SEO continues

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Yahoo! has snapped up a news reading app designed by a young British entrepreneur for a deal worth between £20 -£40 million.

Summly, designed by 17-year-old Nick D'Aloisio, is a news summarising app - freely available on the iPhone - designed to condense information from news stories down to fit snuggly on to a mobile screen.

The move is part of a concerted effort from Yahoo! CEO, Marissa Mayer, to switch focus away from SEO in favour of mobile.

Early on in Ms Mayer's reign at the helm of the ailing Internet giant she said there would be a shift in direction for the firm, with "a focused, coherent mobile strategy," taking precedence.

Describing Summly and the struggle users often have collating news  stories in a manageable fashion on the firm's blog post, Yahoo!'s Adam Cahan, wrote: "Summly solves this by delivering snapshots of stories, giving you a simple and elegant way to find the news you want, faster than ever before.

"For publishers, the Summly technology provides a new approach to drive interest in stories and reach a generation of mobile users that want information on the go."

Along with the rest of his team at Summly, Nick will be joining up with Yahoo! in the coming weeks, although the app will close down in the mean time.

However, Cahan adds: "While the Summly app will close, you will see the technology come to life throughout Yahoo!'s mobile experiences soon. So stay tuned!"

Speaking to the Evening Standard, D'Aloisio said the sale of his free iPhone based app was like a dream.

The youngster, who is now set to become of the world's youngest technology millionaires, said the idea for the app first came about when clicking through various pages on Google to get the information he wanted became laborious and time-wasting to him. Initially called Trimit, D'Aloisio designed the programme in 2011 to help him while studying for mock exams.

He said: "I realised there was all this information on the web but it had not been ordered. That's when I had the idea for an algorithm that would summarise the results of web searches automatically."

He hopes in the future to see more and more young entrepreneurs from the UK make it big in Silicon Valley.

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