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Twitter gobbles news-foraging mobile app startup

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Twitter has bought news-hungry Canadian startup Summify for an undisclosed sum. The upstart biz, which developed a mobile app that automatically rifles through articles being shared across social networks and gathers them together, will up sticks to Twitter's San Francisco office.

"Our long-term vision at Summify has always been to connect people with the most relevant news for them in the most time efficient manner," Summify said in a blog post announcing it had been sold to the staggeringly popular micro-blogging site.

"As hundreds of millions of people worldwide are signing up and consuming Twitter, we realised it’s the best platform to execute our vision at a truly global scale. Since Twitter shared this vision with us, joining the company made perfect sense," it added.

However, as part of the deal, Summify said that "at some point" it would be shutting down its current product. With immediate effect, the company said it was removing the ability for its users to make their "summaries" public. Profile pages and "influence" pages are also being ditched. Summify's auto-publish option will be killed, and user registration via its website, Apple's iPhone and Hootsuite apps have been switched off.

That decision led to a number of users of the service grumbling about its sale to Twitter, some going as far as claiming the startup had sold out. One user of the service wrote a comment on Summify's blog post that appeared to be a typical response from many in the outfit's userbase:

Wow. One could only wish us all to be so happy, but it is clear Summify’s announcement does little more than throw its committed users under the bus. What a shame to have grown such an engaging, dedicated, and trusting community of users - a daunting ordeal envied by all startups - only to backhand everyone in the process.

And unfortunately, the growing disappointment and anger easily rubs off onto Twitter for being viewed as the key player initiating the acquisition. Sad.

At least a couple of punters rushed to Summify's defence, with one user declaring of the business's engineers: "They are all real people, they have to eat, they have a right to improve their futures, and things change. You weren’t paying a cent, and you demand they continue the free lunch. As far as I’m concerned, you were given a free gift, and yet you are complaining that you aren’t receiving more gifts indefinitely. What ungrateful, self-entitled sloths. I congratulate these guys for hanging in there and toughing it out." ®

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