Mobile

With Yahoo's News Digest, Katie Couric comes to an iPad near you

The news summarization app makes its way to Apple's tablet, along with a 2-minute weekly news recap hosted by the former ABC news personality.

1-coverus.png
Yahoo's news summarization app will now include a roughly two-minute video segment from anchor Katie Couric. Yahoo

Yahoo on Thursday announced that its smartphone app News Digest, which curates a collection of shortened news articles for a reader twice daily, is coming to Apple's iPad. The new version will also include a weekly video segment from anchor Katie Couric, recapping one news story from the past week.

Couric, who joined Yahoo last November, will host a video every Sunday, on a range of topics that could include anything from the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to the situation in Ukraine, said Nick D'Aloisio, product manager of News Digest. The roughly two-minute segment, called "Now I Get It," will start airing this weekend.

"We see this as a complimentary fit to the current digest offering," D'Aloisio said, in an email.

That current offering, specifically, is a roundup of stories from topics like world news, sports and politics, summarized via algorithm. The collection comes twice a day, one in the morning, and one at night. The approach is different from one taken by many other products -- and Yahoo's own home page -- with endless scrolls of news stories.

Other updates to the product include customization of when exactly you'll get your digest. Previously, they only came at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., but now, you can choose when they will hit: any time between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. in the morning, and 5 p.m. to to 8 p.m. at night. And after you've read the digest, you can read extra content on topics including technology and entertainment. The iPad version will be available in Apple's App Store later today, the company said.

The update comes as Yahoo has invested heavily in trying to rejuvenate its suite of mobile offerings. CEO Marissa Mayer has made over 40 acquisitions -- the vast majority mobile-focused -- over the more than two years she's been at the company's helm. She also put in place a dedicated mobile product team, and grew the mobile engineering headcount from three dozen to more than 500. Still, the affect on the company's bottom line is too small for the company to report -- and Yahoo does not break out revenue specifically related to mobile.

D'Aloisio joined the company in March 2013 at age 17, when Yahoo bought his news reader app Summly for a reported $30 million. Couric's involvement in News Digest marks her second regular video gig at the company. She hosts a video segment every Tuesday called World 3.0. The news anchor's coming to Yahoo was part of a big media talent grab by Mayer, which also included poaching tech columnist David Pogue from the New York Times.