Scribd fails to sell news aggregation app to Yahoo

TechCrunch has a piece on Scribd, the document-sharing platform with 100 million registered users and 90 million monthly active users. The piece focuses on the iOS news aggregation app, Float, that Scribd developed and almost sold to Yahoo for between $2 and $8 million before Yahoo decided to walk away in February.

Float had gotten off to a good start, with up to 200 news partners and good ratings at the app store. However, it soon ran up against some stiff competition:

“When we originally launched Float, Scribd wanted it to be Instapaper and Read It Later and Readability: all of those things and more,” a person close to the company told me. “But in the fall we had a zillion more competitors on top of all of them.” Also not helping things: Flipboard upgrading and expanding to the iPhone, Zite getting re-infused when it got bought by CNN, and Pulse continuing its partnerships and content expansion.

After the failure to sell to Yahoo, Scribd has decided to fold Float back into the Scribd brand and reassign its coders to work more directly on Scribd instead.

There’s certainly no shortage of document-reading apps on iOS right now, what with those competitors mentioned in the quoted paragraph. Scribd might have better luck staying relevant with the app if it adds the ability to access any of the documents stored on Scribd in the new HTML5-readable format.

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