MySpace launches beta of news aggregation site

MySpace has launched a news-aggregation site in an effort to earn more online advertising revenue

MySpace.com has launched a beta of a news site it hopes will bring more advertising revenue to the popular social networking site.

MySpace News is a hybrid between standard news-aggregation sites, such as Google News, and a news-rating site such as Digg. Like Google and other news sites from portals such as Yahoo and AOL, MySpace News brings in content from a variety of news outlets. But the site also has a Digg-like feature that lets MySpace users rate stories they see on the site, and share stories with other site users.

MySpace hopes to derive more advertising revenue by placing ads on the site's main home page as well as the home pages of its various news category sites, a company spokeswoman said Thursday. She would not disclose how many news sources MySpace News searches for its content, but said the number is more than Google News uses for its stories.

MySpace's news aggregator, called Newroo, searches for stories on the Web using an algorithm that posts content based on a number of factors, including relevance for MySpace users and the number of readers a news site has. Fox Interactive Media, the same company that owns MySpace, acquired Newroo from its creators last year.

There are 25 main news categories on MySpace's news site, with 300 subcategories. Some of the main categories -- such as Eco-Friendly, Gadgets, Gossip and Fashion -- seem designed to appeal to the young, hip and Web-savvy user base for which MySpace is known.

Clicking on a MySpace News item leads immediately to the original source of the story, which gets the traffic and ad impression. However, a banner runs across a story's source page identifying the news item as part of "MySpace News," and shows the rating for the story as well as related links to other stories in that category.

According to MySpace, the site currently has 170 million user profiles and is adding 320,000 profiles per day.

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Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
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