Vancouver start-up, Summify, has been acquired by Twitter. The app was a news and feed aggregation service that pulled data from both personal and professional sources such as RSS feeds, Twitter and Facebook. From what I can see it performed services similar to Zite which was recently acquired by CNN and Flipboard which is still an independent aggregator at January 2012.
According to the company’s blog, “roughly 2 years ago, we moved from Romania to Vancouver after being accepted into Bootup Labs, an awesome start-up incubator. It has been an incredible journey, with lots of highs, a few lows, and many product iterations. In March 2011 we launched our email summary product and we’ve been blown away by the response ever since. Many of our users tell us we found a magical solution to a truly unsolved problem.”
Personalized apps are becoming hot items because they claim that they are able to focus on the most important news, updates and links. Some claims even include that they are able to learn what kind of interests you have and offer up content related to those interests.
The Summify product has been pulled and is no longer being made generally available. It seems safe to say that the goal is to fully integrate the product into Twitter for a future release. This is a very interesting development because what its showing is that curated content is a vision that Twitter executives are embracing.
Its interesting also from the perspective that a machine (in this case a computer application) is choosing content for us based on the popularity history of that content. For example if a tweet is retweeted a signifciant number of times or a Facebook update has a lot of comments associated with it then that content must be considered more important than other content. But is that really the case?
My view is that people have to consider the context in which the update was made and by whom. It is highly probable that an update or tweet with little fanfare associated with it can actually be more important that ones that do. If you plan to use aggregation services have fun but remember that the most important content may be the least known.