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Microsoft spoons news to punters with Facebook, Twitter-slurp

msnNOW pushes out trending topics

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Microsoft is trying to make its online estate stickier by creating a new site that pulls in updates from Web2.0 outfits such as Facebook, Twitter as well as its own Bing search engine.

msnNOW was launched by Redmond yesterday.

According to Microsoft, this new website "will help you stay in the know."

The company, which bought a $240m stake in Facebook way back in 2007, is still trying to get its users to hang around for longer online and it's hoping that some help from those social media upstarts will make Microsoft appear just that little bit more relevant and, well, with it.

Here's Microsoft's explanation of msnNOW:

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.

More than a quarter of Americans under the age of 30 get their information from various social media sites. With the influx of content today across the Web it can be challenging to ensure you’re seeing the relevant and credible content that matters most to you. msnNOW is the trusted source that will help make sense of the noise, anytime and from anywhere you’re online.

Redmond said it was using a technology called Demand Dashboard it developed to track to the latest trends and searches from Twitter, Facebook, BreakingNews.com and 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,” said MSN general manager Bob Visse.

Microsoft grabbed hold of Mark Zuckerberg's "firehose" in June 2010, while Twitter's realtime updates were slotted into Bing in October 2009. ®

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