New MSN site updates users on topics trending on Twitter, Facebook

The msnNow site identifies hot topics and trends on social networks and Bing

Microsoft's MSN launched its msnNow site that puts together brief summaries on topics that are trending on Facebook, Twitter, Bing, and news site BreakingNews.com on a website accessible on PCs, tablets, and mobile phones.

"It cuts through the clutter of the Web, providing an up-to-the-minute view of breaking trends and the hottest social conversations, what people are saying about them, and why they matter," Microsoft said in a statement on Wednesday.

The site's editorial staff will use technology "to identify what trends and topics are heating up on the Web", and continuously update the site with fresh content, it said.

Microsoft is using an in-house developed tool, called the Demand Dashboard, that identifies trends from social media in real-time, and also looks at what people are searching for on Microsoft's Bing search engine, the company said.

The real-time information helps the editorial team pick the more interesting and popular items to present to its audience as short text snippets.

The msnNow website promises up-to-the-minute coverage on breaking trends from across the Web, with the option to sort by areas of interest, including entertainment, sports, lifestyle, stories of the day, and finance.

Topic Pages give the user a closer look at a topic, including a summary of why it is trending, recent videos and images, and related Twitter messages, public Facebook posts and information from Bing, MSN and the Web.

The "infosnacks" will be available on PCs, through Facebook and Twitter, and on portable devices including mobile phones with an Internet connection, MSN said.

Advertising on the website will come from Microsoft's advertising platform which customizes a portion of the online ad based on past online activity by the user or other people using the computer. Users can opt out from receiving personalized ads, Microsoft said on its advertising website.

MSN claims more than 522 million unique users worldwide per month with localized versions available in 48 markets and 27 languages.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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