The recent trend for search technologies that aren’t or weren’t able to compete directly as search engines is to become newsreaders or content discovery vehicles. This is not meant to demean the technology or the companies involved but simply to acknowledge the difficulty of competing in the search market.
This search-to-content discovery pivot has been made before by Worio, which became Zite, and Taptu, which also became went from being a mobile search provider to a personalized newsreader.
Now comes Evri, which already was a “content discovery engine,” with a bunch of mobile apps. But now the company is releasing an iPad app that from the outside appears very much like Flipboard, Zite, Pulse, Taptu or AOL Editions. However the company says that its semantic search technology is different. Evri originally launched in 2008 as a “semantic search” engine or search alternative.
Evri claims that what differentiates it is its “topic-based” approach and that users can dynamically create and follow news about any issue or topic, dynamically generated from a search query or keyword. Like other newsreaders Evri will capture content coming from social feeds (i.e., Twitter and Facebook). But it also indexes roughly “2.3 million topics from over 15K of the Web’s best sources.”
This is a very crowded segment, with more companies (including Yahoo) likely to join the personalized iPad app news fray. The success or failure of these apps will be based not just on what’s under the hood but the quality and aesthetics of the overall experience.
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