Summary Box: MSN adds new feature

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THE DEVELOPMENT: Microsoft’s MSN is hooking up with a hipper sidekick to broaden its appeal and stay on top of the Internet’s hottest topics.

TRACKING TRENDS: msnNOW will tune 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.

TARGET AUDIENCE: The service is primarily aimed at college-age teenagers and young adults who are increasingly relying on smartphones and other mobile devices to remain plugged into what everyone is talking about.