Microsoft has pushed out an update tonight for their MSN News app for Windows 10 and Mobile in the Fast Ring. The latest update adds a highly requested feature that lets you add specific news sources to various topics. This new feature is in addition to the already existing Interests feature, which provides general categories to choose from when setting up the app.
Build 22.214.171.124 is now rolling out to the Fast Ring for Mobile and PC. That version is ahead of Production, which sits at 4.9.76.
The new Sources feature appears in the sidebar under Interests. The user can go through various categories like Sports, National & World News, Music, Science, Technology, Politics, and more and star their favorite news outlets for sourcing.
Presumably, the user will then see more news coming from those outlets than Microsoft's default feed. Users can also open the feed and choose news stories direct from those sites in a single feed e.g. only American Scientist.
In a similar move, Microsoft recently let users "mute" sites that appeared in their Cortana feed. However, users cannot do that (yet) on MSN News. Instead, it is more of an opt-in to specific sites rather than opt-out of ones you do not enjoy. Users can also search for news sources. However, the offering is limited to what MSN News has already preselected and is unlike a custom RSS feed.
Overall, this seems like the right move to let users add news from specific sites, but will fall short of what people tend to want, which is to view sources that only reflect their own worldview. While many of us see that as an unhealthy way to get your news that has not stopped users from wanting such a feature.
Besides this new feature, users will be prompted to go through their Interests again the first time the app is launched as Microsoft has added more categories to choose from.
Grab the latest update for MSN News and let us know what you think.