Yahoo closes internet prodigy's news app

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Mr D’Aloisio launched the Yahoo News Digest app at 2014’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to great fanfare

Yahoo has announced it is shutting down its award-winning News Digest app at the end of this month.

It was launched in 2014 and is based on a technology developed by a British teenager that compressed other news outlets’ reports into shorter articles.

Yahoo was reported to have paid £20m for the tech and offered its creator Nick D’Aloisio a full-time job, but he opted instead to go to university.

The closure marks one of the first cuts made since Verizon bought Yahoo.

The telecoms company paid $4.5bn (£3.6bn) for the internet services firm in a deal that was completed on 13 June.

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Yahoo News Digest tried to select a small number of stories to suit each user to avoid overwhelming them with choice

Yahoo News Digest was a past winner of Apple’s software Design Award and it has been installed on to millions of iOS and Android devices.

Twice a day it presents each user with a digest of six to eight major stories made up of text, images and graphics, telling the reader they are “done” when they have all been flicked through.

The Next Web tech blog has described Yahoo’s decision to retire the service as “shooting itself in the foot by doing away with the best app it’s ever built”.

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Yahoo News Digest users are now warned of its imminent closure

Users are now met with a message saying that they should download a different app, Yahoo Newsroom.

It acts as a wider news aggregation service that also lets users post articles they have seen elsewhere and discuss them with others.

“Yahoo News Digest was particularly popular with the tech-savvy part of the population,” said Sameer Singh, from the app analytics specialist App Annie.

“But Yahoo Newsroom is probably a better fit with Verizon’s current advertising strategy.”

Yahoo Newsroom was launched in the US in October. However, a link provided to the service does not work for users elsewhere – including in the UK – because it is not available worldwide.

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Yahoo Newsroom offers more stories and social features than the earlier app

Mr D’Aloisio originally said he would combine his degree in science and philosophy at the University of Oxford with time working on maintenance of the News Digest app.

However, the 21-year-old split with Yahoo more than two years ago and has since had one of his academic papers published by a peer-reviewed journal.

A friend told the BBC that Mr D’Aloisio did not feel he had any comment to add.

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