On the heels of a similar deal with Yahoo buying Summly last month
for around the same price, Google has apparently bought out Seattle-based newsfeed company Wavii
for over $30 million, the Seattle Times
reports. The company uses natural-language processing to generate newsfeed summaries of stories reported elsewhere, similar to Summly. Apple was said to have also been interested in acquiring the service, and allegedly engaged in a brief bidding war with Google for it, apparently wanting to integrate the service into Siri.
Founder and former Microsoft executive Adrian Aoun told TechCrunch
that the 25-person staff of Wavii will be moving to the Bay Area to work with the search and advertising giant's Knowledge Graph division. Aoun is an investor in TechCrunch
founder Mike Arrington's Crunchfund, and signalled the buyout to the site ahead
of other media outlets.
Google appears to have been interested in Wavii to more directly compete with Facebook -- Wavii actually described its service as a way to "make Facebook out of Google"
on its site before the purchase, meaning its summary methods made news feeds quicker and more socially-oriented for readers. The company started off wanting to create a more tailored-for-users version of Facebook's own shared news articles.