Anyone who uses social media knows that news breaks first on social media and then on the ‘news’. The recent death of Whitney Houston, for example, was circulating on Twitter for nearly an hour before CNN reported on it and that’s inline with the timing of lots of news stories (I remember reading about the Osama bin Laden news on Twitter as well and flipping through the news channels waiting for them to talk about it). On top of that, the mainstream media isn’t always so fast or willing to pic up ‘social media’ trends so msnNOW seems to actually hit a nice niche that has some legs. The interface is really clean and of course, has social sharing built right into it.
What they’re doing is analyzing Facebook information, Twitter trends, Bing searches and BreakingNews to get to the story in real time. And they spit out articles that are about 100 words since they know that we all have ADD.
You can check it out here: http://now.msn.com/ and there is also a Facebook app and the website is mobile friendly.
There’s a lot of neat background info on how MS is analyzing trends that’s an easy read (but over 100 words) and you can check it out here.