Yahoo buys Summly: An appropriately quick roundup

Yahoo bought Summly, an app that summarizes news stories, for a reported $30 million Tuesday. The headline "17-year-old's app sold for millions" is irresistible, which is exactly why journalists should resist it, Jack Shafer writes:

There’s plenty of adult supervision at his company: Summly’s chairman, we learn on the company’s corporate Web site, has been in the Internet racket at least 15 years, including a stint at Amazon. Its CTO and head of R&D are similarly long-toothed with experience, as are other members of its executive team.

• Kevin Roose says the media Yahoo earned from the deal is the "kind of PR home run most companies can only dream of." But more important, it's a way to woo other wunderkinder:

Yahoo is already signaling that it plans to use [founder Nick] D'Aloisio as HR bait. ... And while having a British teenager who looks like a One Direction member extol Yahoo's virtues might not convince every code jockey in Silicon Valley to jump onboard, it's probably going to result in at least a few more applications for open spots.

• “Nick is a founder that will make Mayer and Yahoo look cutting edge,” a "person close to the situation" told Peter Kafka.

Cue the parade of PR profiles of the young genius made millionaire, helping Yahoo become relevant again.

• Yahoo is close to closing on a reported deal to buy the French video site Dailymotion, Nicholas Carlson writes. It's part of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's plan to "reduce Yahoo's original content costs to 'essentially nothing,'" he writes after a conversation with a "source recently briefed" on the deal, after which Yahoo will add more user-generated content and "offer a personalized experience for the consumption of it all."

• Of perhaps related interest: The Wall Street Journal reported last week that has hired Yahoo News Editor-in-Chief Hillary Frey as its editorial director.

Related: Bloomberg Wants to Win at Video (Adweek)

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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