Microsoft Gets “Hipper” With msnNOW

These days, most of us rely on social networks to get the latest news.  It may be from actual news sources that our friends share or it can be through their updated statuses or tweets.  the problem here is, some worthwhile news doesn’t get the attention they deserve because it’s not “trending” (a term used in social networks to refer to “hot” topics) or it was but everyone already moved on by the time you learn about it.  If you’re a person who has other things to do besides sitting in front of your computer or holding your mobile device 24/7, how will you be informed as to what’s the latest trending topic?

MSN, the collection of Internet sites and services provided by Microsoft, comes to the rescue with msnNOW, a new service that launches today which surfaces the latest buzz from Facebook, Twitter, Bing and BreakingNews.com.  Designed to “cut through the clutter” on the Web to provide real-time view of breaking trends and the hottest social conversations happening.

“msnNOW is really about keeping consumers in the know about the hottest topics on the Web,” says Bob Visse, general manager for MSN and the person who will lead the new service’s overall direction. “We’re using technology we built that analyzes all the social signals from Twitter, Facebook and the Web as well as search signals that come from Bing.”

“What we’re really looking for is the velocity of trending topics – what’s boiling to the surface,” Visse says. “The goal is to catch trends as they are accelerating and capture them before they hit the mainstream, in a way that is captivating.”

This move is seen as Microsoft’s way of reaching out to the younger generation since they compose the majority social networking users.  The younger generation is capable of making things matter, they are quick to share to their peers what they like and what they don’t like about fashion or which artists they love and hate and they are the ones who are quick in composing tweets or changing their statuses.

How msnNOW Works

The msnNOW editorial team rely on the Demand Dashboard feed to handpick the most interesting and popular items to present to its audience of “info snackers.”  The real-time information enables editors to catch trends as they emerge. If the team catches a name or topic trending which they don’t recognize, the team researches it immediately and determine if it’s worth putting on msnNOW. The reporting team then prepares text snippets about the final story candidates. This marriage of technology and reporting ensures readers are getting the latest breaking trends that are truly buzz-worthy.  And because they’re targetting the younger generation, they want to keep things short to keep them interested.

“We keep it to a hundred words or less because the demographic interested in these trends is very accustomed to ‘info snacking’ throughout the day. They’re used to this shortened language,” Visse explains. “It’s definitely a trend we’ve observed pretty extensively.”

Tried msnNOW, apparently people are still hating on Chris Brown, first for the physical abuse inflicted on Rihanna three years ago; second, for going to the Grammy’s and getting an award; and third, for his rage-filled tweet to his haters.

So browsing msnNOW and basing on Visse’s explanation of the service, the service features more news about entertainment and sports–the two topics teens are most interested about.  So if they just want to cater to the younger generation, that’s fine, and adults still love reading about people from the entertainment business, people just love to gossip about celebrities.

Microsoft just might have struck gold.

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa Tolentino started at SiliconANGLE covering the mobile and social scene. Over the years, her scope expanded to Bitcoin as well as the Internet of Things. SiliconANGLE gave Mellisa her break in writing and it has been an adventure ever since. She’s from the sunny country of Philippines where people always greet you with the warmest smile. If she’s not busy writing, she loves reading, watching TV series and movies, but what she enjoys the most is playing or just chilling on the couch with with her three dogs Ceecee, Ginger, and Rocky.