msnNOW Finds Popularity with Younger Audience and May Drive Growth for Bing

msn NOW Screenshot

Image from: mnsNOW

Late last Wednesday on 2/15/12 Microsoft launched their newest addition to its MSN services, called msnNOW. This service enables people to get real-time information on what people are talking about, sharing, and searching for from one centralized place. It’s available on multiple screens – on the PC at now.msn.com, the iPad, mobile devices, and even as a social reader app on Facebook.

Who are the early adopters of msnNOW? Compete looked at visitors to now.msn.com for the 7 days after its launch. From 2/16/12 to 2/22/12, we saw the following:

- The site appeals equally to men and women; visitors were 50% men and 50% women.

- The age group that went to msnNOW most often was the 25-34 year olds. In fact, its percentage of visitors in this young adult group was higher than the percentage of people that age in the US Internet Population.

Currently there is no advertising on the site, so will msnNOW drive its visitors to start using its other properties such as the MSN portal and Bing? Our initial data indicates that it could be working.

Visitors to mnsNOW and Bing

After visiting msnNOW, 23% of visitors who had not used Bing.com in the 7 days prior to the msnNOW launch proceeded to engage or re-engage with Bing. Again, the largest age group represented among these newly engaged Bing users is age 25-34 at 28% of the group.

Age Distribution of Newly Engaged Bing Users

So what is msnNOW really about? It’s not just a content aggregator; it’s more of a news content source based on the hottest trending topics of the day. It uses real-time information sources such as Facebook, Twitter, Bing, and BreakingNews.com. A team of editors continuously look at what the most popular trending topics are, and package the content into bite sized news snippets. These are written in a fresh tone geared toward an edgy audience with such subject lines as “Church offers drive-through ashes for busy believers” and “Gay stylist won’t cut guv’s hair”.

The technology that powers msnNOW is a tool called the Demand Dashboard. The Demand Dashboard analyzes what is being said and shared on those real-time sources over the last 24 hours using machine algorithms to identify what the biggest trends are statistically. On the site itself, you can see a real-time ticker of how many searches and social updates are being analyzed.

MSN Now 1

Its editors use this data within the Demand Dashboard to view and compare content, create their sound bites, categorize them, and link to related trends. Here are some of today’s top trending “Cash” stories:

MSN Now 2

msnNOW also acts as a social sharing platform, allowing users to share content across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and other social networks. Its Facebook social reader app – currently at 3,000 users a week after its launch – allows people to see what content their friends are reading, and provides another way that people can share content.

Curious yet?  Check it out at now.msn.com!