Yahoo launches new iOS app with Summly integration

Steven Loeb · April 22, 2013 · Short URL:

App will also feature an endless newsfeed, improved search and more user control over content

Yahoo is continuing to push its mobile strategy, this time by offering a completely revamped version of its app for iOS.

The new app, which was announced in a blogpost on Monday, includes "better mobile content discovery," as well as integration of Summly, the news summarizer that Yahoo purchased almost one month ago exactly.

"Consuming news and information on the go has become the norm -- whether waiting for a morning coffee or commuting home from work, content discovery is an insatiable daily habit. Our mobile phones have opened up a window to the world, with the latest news, sports updates, and entertainment coverage right there in our pockets," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wrote.

Summly, which as created by then 15-year-old British wunderkind Nick D’Aloisio, was a mobile app that used an algorithm to generate summaries from thousands of news sources from around the Web, making reading the news easier and clearer. Yahoo will now use these algorithms to deliver quick story summaries on the new iOS app. 

The app will also contain a "virtually endless newsfeed," as well as "better video and image search," which allows users to select the types of stories they are most interested in. Within every Yahoo article, users can now select the topics they want to see more, and those they want to see less of. And these choices will be saved across all screens, so that if you choose a topic on mobile, it will also be applied to the desktop version for the same account. 

The new app is reminscent of the revamped homepage that Yahoo debuted in February, which also contained a customizable, and endless, newsfeed. It is available for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, and is currently available to Yahoo users in the United States. 

Yahoo going mobile

Along with the purchase of Summly, many of Yahoo's recent moves have been pointing it toward competition on mobile devices.

In October, Yahoo acquired Stamped, the Justin Bieber-backed mobile app that lets users “stamp” and share their favorite restaurants, movies, books, music, and more.

In December, Yahoo updated its Flickr app with high resolution filters that users can apply after they have taken the photo/ Additionally, the new Flickr app lets them share the photos on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and email. They can also upload multiple photos from their camera roll to the Flickr site and tag people and add locations from Foursquare.

The updated app also added a new Explore tab that allows users to browse other users’ photos and check out details like how the photo was taken, what groups and sets it belongs to, and who is tagged.

The company also acqui-hired the team from OnTheAir, a video chat service that can be used for casual hangouts or to organize largish webinars, due to users’ ability to moderate speakers and converse with participants via a split screen.  Audience members can “call in,” or they can chat with one another.  Yahoo claims that it has no plans to use the technology though.

In February, Yahoo purchased location discovery app Alike, and then, earlier this month, Yahoo acqu-hired the team at personalized recommendation service Jybe, giving the company both a location service, and now a team with knowledge in personalized recommendations.

The company's mobile push seems to have paid off, with Yahoo’s engagement rates are higher than ever, particularly among mobile users, J.P. Morgan’s Doug Anmuth noted after Yahoo's quarterly earnings report last week.

The property saw 9.6 million unique visitors in February 2013, up from 5,500 in January and 5,700 in December 2012. Time spent on was also up significantly, with users spending over 60 minutes on the site in February, compared to 24 minutes in January and 17 minutes in December.

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