MSNBC has acquired the URL BreakingNews.com, making the site a new destination for accessing news leads as they emerge. The site accompanies the @breakingnews Twitter stream that MSNBC assumed responsibility for late last year, making the acquisition the latest in the news network’s efforts towards re-branding for the digital age.
The new BreakingNews.com site isn’t entirely different from the @breakingnews Twitter stream, which is just one part of a growing system towards the MSNBC Digital Network. Recent news stories from aggregate sources are time-date stamped and clearly outlined per their headlines, leaving a simple interface for cross-promoting between the new domain and the existing Twitter account.
CNN really helped to push the online news trend forward, becoming one of the first amongst the large news sources to take a liking to Twitter and Facebook. While many contend the validity and usefulness of traditional news media companies utilizing new, social technology for their own commercial purposes, it’s clear that a growing interest is beginning to blossom.
This interest could also be due to the ability for Twitter to provide real-time results, giving a number of third parties the wherewithal to offer up responses to search queries. The new site from MSNBC indicates a desire to build out the capabilities of Twitter queries, contextualizing them for niche purposes.
What’s interesting about MSNBC’s particular take on things is the absence of additional Twitter content, such as comments and responses from other community members. This removes the social aspects of Twitter content, stripping everything down to the headlines themselves. If you would like to join in on the Twitter conversations, a link is available on the BreakingNews site that will redirect you to the @breakingnews Twitter account.
This is an interesting way of contextualizing news content as breaking news, as it is indirect in its Twitter tie-in. Nevertheless, it will be an interesting study for MSNBC because of its experiment in news organization and distribution. Many are still seeking out th best way in which to collect and disperse news to their readers, hoping to take advantage of new technology in order to gain access to their audience.
When it comes to the possible monetization of Twitter and the necessity of third parties to be able to organize and relate back to Twitter content for these purposes, we’re sure to see a great deal of development around these two areas of interest.
As far as MSNBC goes, it is attempting to regrow its audience around new distribution tools made available through web and mobile services. While @breakingnews and the new domain are small steps towards a digital overhaul, it’s clear that printed media is shifting as an industry. If MSNBC’s efforts pay off, the company will become an example of how other aspects of the print media can successfully port into the digital era.