Wavii, a Seattle-based personalized news aggregator, has launched online and for iPhone after introducing a private beta version back in January, TechCrunch reported.
Wavii provides a personalized feed of news and current events based on information gleaned from your Facebook profile, TechCrunch explains. The company summarizes what they do as “making Facebook out of Google.” Wavii also suggests topics or news providers that you should follow, according to TechCrunch.
The aggregator is likely to compete with Facebook's news feed, prompting early speculation that it could become a target for a Facebook buyout, BBC News reported.
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However, Facebook's feed is based on status updates and content shared by friends, while Wavii is a feed of news streams based on data taken from across the web, according to BBC.
The app's technology processes up to 1,000 articles a minute and can detect rumors and story duplicates, aiming to stream only the most important and relevant nuggets of information into its feeds, BBC reported.
Wavii gets rid of the "fluff" of the internet, said Jim Pitkow, a technical advisor to the Seattle-based venture.
"We live in a sea of information, and it's really hard to decide what to pay attention to," Pitkow told BBC. "With Wavii you can access more information with less effort."
The app is getting mixed reviews from techies, who have compared it to similar but sleeker apps such as Flipboard or StumbleUpon. PC Magazine editors gave Wavii's first version two and a half stars, or a "fair" score.
"Wavii's app tries to nail a new concept by not just aggregating news, bus also summarizing it and removing duplicate items from your list, but it doesn't hit a real stride in this early attempt," PC Magazine wrote in its review. "Twitter has an air of excitement. [...] Flipboard excels as the number one app for browsing news and media, curating high quality content for you and displaying it exceptionally well. And for exploring the Web, no app does it better than StumbleUpon. Wavii has yet to make its mark."
However, some are optimistic about Wavii's foray into the crowded world of news aggregation.
"I haven't seen anyone do anything close," Oren Etzioni, a semantic search expert and professor of computer science at the University of Washington, told the BBC. "Wavii is tackling an incredibly hard problem. Google and Microsoft's Bing have worked on this for years."
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