Yeah I just download a text file too and that has a list of text based news entries, links and image urls.
I've just found that I need to tweak it a bit. There's no command in AGK to see if url is valid so if, for whatever reason, it can't find the file I want then it downloads the 404 screen to a text file instead.....which then appears in my news feed window like the error messages in the recent Sim City
I've added variable spacing to my bitmap text routines as the default kerning was too large making it hard to read as spaces weren't obvious.
I've also looked at adding speech bubble to Man in game. The initial ones with single words in didn't really work as they get lost in the noise, so I'm going to have a look at putting simple smilies in thought bubbles instead.....although I'm not sure they will be any clearer in game either. (I do most testing on hard where this "noise" is more of an issue, but if I'm adding something, even if it's just cosmetic, then it really has to work under all conditions).