Cliff’s Notes For The Mobile Era—Yahoo! Acquires Summly

What does Summly do and why would Yahoo!, a company in the process of being reimagined, reorganized and (one hopes) reinvigorated by a controversial new CEO, commit a reported $30M for a company run by a kid who hasn’t yet attended his junior prom?

As to the first point, Summly has been called a “news-reading app” but that”s a bit thin as a description. What the company provides is a tool (based on what D”Aloisio describes as an “automatic summarization algorithm”) that automatically scans long-form, text-based content (i.e. multi-page articles, reports, etc.) and summarizes it into forms short enough to be quickly and comfortably read on a smart phone or other mobile device. A New York Times report noted that D”Aloisio was trying “to solve a problem that is often summed up with the abbreviation tl;dr: „too long; didn”t read.””

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NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT Review.

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