, the Microsoft/NBC joint venture, has acquired social news site Newsvine for an undisclosed sum, the first acquisition in the firms’s 11 year history., which had around 29m users in August this year, is believed to have acquired Newsvine to expand its user generated content / community features.

Newsvine has around a million users a month, and trails behind other social news rivals Digg, Reddit and Netscape, which has now been relaunched as Propeller. Newsvine should benefit from an enlarged audience, as well as being able to handle spikes in traffic more easily than before.

Part of the appeal of social news websites, as with blogging in general, has been the independence from traditional news and media outlets. AOL cited the perception of Netscape as a traditional media brand  when it decided to ditch the Netscape name and relaunch its social news site as Propeller.

It remains to be seen whether perceptions of the site will change now that it is owned by a large media company, though Newsvine will continue to run as an independent site.

Newsvine was launched two years ago, receiving $1.5m from Second Avenue Partners, a Seattle based VC firm.

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