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Yahoo’s News Digest gets UK launch

US-based internet corporation launches its mobile news service News Digest for the UK market.

Imagine combining a bi-daily newspaper frisson with all the technological advantages of up-to-date mobile content. This is the aim of Yahoo’s latest venture, which was introduced to the UK this week.

The app product, developed by Nick D’Aloisio, founder of the Summly summarising app, offers users a synopsis of leading news stories twice a day for iPhone and iPod touch.

This is in response to a news trawl that many consumers, according to Yahoo, can find “overwhelming”. 

It said: “These days, getting up to speed on the day’s news can be overwhelming – especially on mobile devices where you’re trying to find stuff quickly and on the move.”

D’Aloisio, who is nowadays a product manager at Yahoo, said in his blog post: “Remember waking up to the local morning news? Coming home to the evening news? Reading a newspaper from front to back page?”

He said that acquiring the day’s news like this has been a daily habit since the invention of the printing press.

The Summly founder said: “We wanted Yahoo News Digest to bring back that sense of completion and conclusiveness, much like reading the newspaper did.”

So how does it work?

The app employs an algorithm to compile summaries of important news stories, together with key snippets of data about them, assembled using multiple sources throughout the web.

The digest offers the main news for a UK audience twice a day, straight to users’ mobile devices.

It gives a definitive summary of all the need-to-know news so people keep abreast of what’s happening in the world. The stories are developed from multiple sources and aren’t all text.

They are made from data garnered from throughout the web and compiled into units Yahoo is calling atoms.

These atomic units include summaries, maps, infographics, stock tickers, Wikipedia extracts, videos, photographs, quotes, weather and statistics.

The stories and atoms are algorithmically created but editorially curated showing the “perfect blend” of technology and journalism.

D’Aloisio has been working on the project since selling Summly to Yahoo for an estimated £18 million last year.