MSN.com is about to unveil a new look based on cleaner lines, a focus on select verticals, and easier user configuration. Along with a new logo, the home page will feature inline access to Windows Live, Twitter, and Facebook, with abilities to update them right from the home page. An uplevel Silverlight experience is coming, too, with additional added features. Video will receive prominent placement on the home page, and an uplevel Silverlight experience there will feature full screen HD video viewing.
We talked to Bob Visse, the MSN Product Management Group General Manager, about the changes, including the US and worldwide aspects of the changes. He said that “different pages work differently across the world”, with for example Eastern Europeans not being nearly so interested in entertainment gossip as we are here in the US. Additionally, a number of markets have received recent updates of their own, so in the case of for example Canada, which was just updated, it may be a while before they see something similar to the changes occurring in the US.
Visse had some interesting statistics to pass along, saying that MSN is the top global info site with over 600 million unique visitors a month, the number one site in 25 markets, and that 45% of Bing traffic comes from MSN. MSN plans to focus on some key growing trends: local, video, social networking, and search: