Microsoft Takes Aim At Social Media (Again) With msnNOW, Tapping Facebook Data

Microsoft’s latest attempt to inject life into its middling MSN web portal is msnNOW, which aims to be a one-stop shop for topics and breaking news getting the most buzz from Facebook, Twitter, Bing, and BreakingNews.com.

The software giant said the editorial staff for msnNOW will monitor hot trends and topics, in 100 words or less (eat your heart out, Twitter!), to create a single source of fresh, relevant content, along with “key insights on why it’s trending, if it’s true, what people are saying about it, and where to find out more.”

The site also features Biggest Movers, which displays topics that are on their way up or down.

Content on msnNOW is divided into categories, including:

  • Fame: Celebrity gossip and entertainment reports;
  • Soul: Trends related to life, including love, beauty, kids, and products;
  • Sweat: Sports buzz;
  • Wire: The day’s big stories; and
  • Cash: Money and big business.

Users can access msnNOW via PCs, mobile, tablets, Facebook, and Twitter. Facebook users can share their experiences with their friends via the msnNOW Facebook Reader.

Microsoft’s Demand Dashboard is the engine that propels msnNOW, sorting and analyzing Facebook posts, tweets, Bing searches, shared URLs, and breaking news from the past 24 hours and detecting patterns.

While there is no disputing Microsoft’s software dominance, with examples including Windows and Office, web content and social media have never been strong suits for the company, and msnNOW does little to change that.

Readers: Will you give msnNOW a test drive?

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