Tech Teen Whiz Sells Summly APP to Yahoo!, Inc. for Mega Deal28 Mar, 2013
London, England - March 25, 2013— Teenage programmer Nick D’Aloisio sold his news application Summly to Yahoo for what’s rumored to be a massive payout (reportedly $30 million). The sale caps a short but successful career at Apple Inc.’s vast app store, where hundreds of thousands of pieces of software compete for the attention of smartphone and tablet users. Summly is one of several apps that D’Aloisio has designed. It uses complex algorithms to automatically condense online news content into attractive little blocks of text that are useful for the small screens of smartphones.
D’Aloisio said he was thrilled to be working for a “classic Internet company” — Yahoo! Inc. is older than he is at 17. In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, D’Aloisio said his computer skills were self-taught, explaining that he started by mastering movie-making software before tackling programming languages.
The teen app expert said he was interested in automated technologies that could anticipate users’ needs before they even reached for their smartphones — such as an app that downloads the day’s news stories just before a user steps into a subway. D’Aloisio said there were no copyright concerns about Summly, which works by running a statistical analysis of the text to guess which bits are the most relevant to cut the content down. Media companies such as New York-based News Corp. have collaborated on making their content more Summly-friendly, he said, arguing that shortening software would ultimately be a win-win for content providers.
“We’re introducing their content to a new, younger demographic,” he said. “…you like the summary, you read the whole story; it increases publisher viewership.”
Although the Yahoo acquisition won’t close until later this spring, D’Aloisio said the Summly App will no longer be available. Its technology will return in other Yahoo products.