Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

News Start-Up Wavii Revamps Around Mobile

Wavii, the service that analyzes and summarizes news, is becoming a mobile-first company on its second try.

The company will release a second version of its iPhone app today, which CEO Adrian Aoun called a “drastically different experience.” Aoun said Wavii previously had released a “crappy consulting firm version” of its app, but now has refocused its efforts on mobile, and will entirely transfer its efforts to that code base going forward.

So: First comes iPhone today, then soon, then Android, then iPad. Much of the new product was written in HTML5 so as to be more easily transferred from platform to platform, and the current desktop Web version will soon be scrapped.

The new Wavii has five million topics, compared to half a million when the company launched in April. It combines multiple sources on a single story into a swipeable interface, and directs users to related content based on what they already follow.

While many companies love to trot out the “mobilemobilemobile” mantra these days, optimizing for on-the-go viewing does seem like a better use of Wavii’s time than a desktop destination site that its users have to remember to visit. So, for instance, a user who cares about Google could quickly check in on a Wavii-built “news feed” of recent story summaries about the company’s activities.

Wavii doesn’t release any usage numbers, meaning they are relatively small. But Aoun said that prior to this upgrade, users were already spending four times as much time visiting Wavii from mobile than when they came from the Web.

Wavii is backed by SV Angel, Felicis Ventures, Kapor Capital and others, and Aoun is a Web investor himself.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik