In just two hours after its release in the US app store, a smartphone app that provides summaries of news stories reached to number nine . The app is called Summly and was designed by 17-year-old Londoner Nick D’Aloisio. It has received more than 1 million dollars in funding from investors.
Some high profile supporters include Stephen Fry, CEO of Tech City Joanna Shields, and Newscorp owner Rupert Murdoch. Despite the quick jump in the app store, early reviews say the app is a little confusing and unclear. However, the app is still rating an average score of four out of five stars from overall users.
Nick D’Aloisio took time off from school to develop the mobile applications that offers summaries of existing news stories published on the web. The app is free to download and uses alogorithms to process news stories into summaries which users can swipe in order to see the full story if they wish. “We worked hard on an interface that looks like nothing else on iPhone,” says D’Aloisio to BBC.
Bart Swanson has been appointed to chair the company behind Summly. Swanson oversaw the roll-out of retailer Amazon in Europe. D’Aloisio’s long term goals for the app is to see users make micro-payments to read some storeies in full should they choose to read the full article. “Traditioanally publishers have been confined to a paywall system ..you can either give away the headline or the full article. But we can really sell the summary level,” he said.
D’Aloisio, who just celebrated his 17th birthday on Thursday, plans to finish his education and go to university while remaining heavily involved in his company.
Signed, Shanika Simmons