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Microsoft rolls out trend-tracking service msnNOW

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Microsoft rolls out trend-tracking service msnNOW

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SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft is hooking up MSN.com with a hipper sidekick to broaden its appeal and stay on top of the internet's hottest topics.

The trend-tracking service, called "msnNOW," tunes into the buzz by sifting through millions of internet searches and links circulating among the hordes on Facebook and Twitter. The chatter is then distilled into the equivalent of a digital water cooler - a place where people can go to keep in touch without taking up a lot of their time.

After months of development, the new feature debuts Thursday at http://now.msn.com.

The service is primarily aimed at university-age teenagers and young adults who are increasingly relying on smartphones and other mobile devices to remain plugged into what everyone is talking about from one hour to the next. It's an "information-snacking" addiction that msnNOW is looking to feed with a smorgasbord of morsels served up a team of about 20 editors who will write 100-word summaries of the stories driving online conversations, said Bob Visse, MSN's general manager.


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