CES 2014: Yahoo Revives Summly As News Digest App

Yahoo’s young Nick D’aloisio remerged at their CES Keynote yesterday to highlight a new app called the Yahoo News Digest. Highly visual in nature, it aims to rethink news consumption for the modern era, and eschews personalization in favor of curation. In principle, the Digest takes the form of the morning and evening papers that have existed for decades by notifying all Digest subscribers at a given point, in the morning and the evening, when the digest is ready; everybody receives the same Digest that has been curated by Yahoo’s news staff, and it comes in the form of digestible bits of text dotted with photos, maps, tweets, and other visual elements. The ultimate goal is to tackle the overwhelming feeling brought on by too much reading material often found in apps like Flipboard, where it can often seem exhausting just to get through all the feeds you’ve subscribed to. 

For now, the app is iPhone only, but one of the more interesting announcements from the keynote is that the Digest will feature native advertising – or, advertisements that look similar to the articles and sit within the flow of the Digest itself. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer admitted that advertising – specifically native advertising – would need to help Yahoo emerge again as one of the more profitable companies, and the Digest is a prime target for intuitive, native ad work. Advertisers should keep a keen eye on the app in the near future. 

Yahoo Relaunches iPhone App Summly

Yahoo’s relaunched its flagship purchase, Summly, for iPhone and iPod touch devices this morning. The app uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing algorithms to deliver short summaries beneath story headlines. The new features are prominently on display in the “Visual” mode, wherein headlines and summaries are overlaid atop blown-up thumbnail backgrounds. You can now also specify your section and topic preferences, making your Yahoo news experience more personalized. Yahoo also gave the app a major upgrade to its video and image searches. This is another big app release for Yahoo, who also released Weather and Mail apps last week, and demonstrates their continued effort to penetrate the mobile app market.