Microsoft’s MSN portal, like Yahoo’s, is finding it tough to compete with Facebook and Twitter as people’s first port of call on the Internet.
The software giant is looking to grab back some buzz and appeal to younger users with a new service that delivers a snapshot at any minute of the day on news stories, people and topics that are most popular on the web.
The product, branded ‘msnNOW’, launches on Thursday at now.msn.com, and will be integrated into items on Microsft’s main MSN site.
It takes data from Microsoft’s own Bing search engine to find out what people are searching for, and mixes in results from Facebook (which Microsoft owns a small part of) and Twitter to get a hold on what links are being exchanged.
Editors at MSN will then sort out the results — filtering out the fake death rumors that spread so quickly on Twitter — to give a ranking of news stories and hot topics and point out resources to find out more on a particular subject.