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Yahoo buys Summly, immediately closes down app

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Mobile news app, Summly, has been acquired by Yahoo for an undisclosed sum, and plans to integrate the service into a number of its own products.

Yahoo will close the Summly app, removing it from the App Store later today and will utilise the app’s features in a variety of Yahoo product lines.

The app was created in 2011 by then 15-year-old Nick D’Aloisio (now 17) whilst revising for his GSCEs. Its main selling point of condensing news stories into three key paragraphs from popular media sources suitable for reading on an iPhone screen, in a variety of Yahoo product lines. The news categories are also customisable and the app allows user to access the full article if they so wish.

“I am delighted to announce Summly has signed an agreement to be acquired by Yahoo!,” said D’Aloisio. “Our vision is to simplify how we get information and we are thrilled to continue this mission with Yahoo!’s global scale and expertise.”

The specifics of the Summly deal haven’t been revealed, but it is believed that D’Aloisio has also been awarded a full time job at Yahoo, along with several of Summly’s top staff members.

“We will be removing Summly from the App Store today but expect our summarisation technology will soon return to multiple Yahoo! Products – see this as a ‘power nap’ so to speak.”

The purchase comes just four months after the app was launched, which has been downloaded nearly one million times since then.

“We’re excited to share that we’re acquiring Summly, a mobile product company founded with a vision to simplify the way we get information, making it faster, easier and more concise,” said Yahoo! In a statement.

“At the age of 15, Nick D’Aloisio created the Summly app at his home in London. It started with an insight – that we live in a world of constant information and need new ways to simplify how we find the stories that are important to us, at a glance.”

D’Aloisio’s software was born from the youngster’s option that viewing Google news articles is “inefficient and time wasting”. He taught himself code when he was just 12-years-old.

“I realised that 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 properly.”

According to the London Evening Standard, the Summly app was sold for somewhere between £20 and £40 million, with D’Aloisio remaining the majority shareholder. However, as he is not yet old enough to be a director of a company, all proceeds from the sale will be placed in a trust fund until he turns 18.

Will you miss the Summly news service on your iPhone, or did you not even get the chance to try it before Yahoo removed it from the App Store shelves? Let us know via the TrustedReviews Facebook and Twitter pages or the comments below.

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