MSN Launches Personalized News Search

MSN announced Tuesday the launch of it's beta version of Newsbot, a personalized news search and aggregation service MSN has been testing in a number of countries for the last several months.

The U.S. service, which runs in conjunction with MSNBC, constantly tracks more than 4,800 news sources around the world, accumulating the top stories into an itemized home page. Newsbot is similar to Google news and other online news aggregators in layout and content.

Stepping away from the trend, Newsbot offers history and personalization features, which are designed to help users easily find news relevant to their interests. In this manner, Newsbot is more similar to RSS beacuse users can choose which sites are relevant to their interests and "subscribe" to them. Unlike RSS and other news aggregation services, Newsbot tracks user behavior and suggests similar stories in related areas. No personalized information is tracked.

News scans will be organized into seven different categories: U.S. and world news; sports; entertainment; business; science and health; and technology. Different publications' coverage of the same stories are clustered.