The Now/ledge

A Guide to the 'Now' Revolution in News / by Alan Soon

MSN’s new home page: Two steps in the right direction


ScreenHunter_02 Nov. 04 23.29

I have never been a fan of the MSN home page. Too cluttered and too many stories that don’t matter to me, such as “The Fight to Save a Man-Eating Shark.” Really?

But this one caught my eye.

MSN today previewed their new home page. And it’s great.

I’m not one to gush about Microsoft (disclosure: I work for Yahoo!). But this is what MSN is doing right in its first major redesign in about five years:

1. It’s clean. No more silly module boxes around the page. It’s now feels “free.” Microsoft also cut the number of links by 50 percent. That’s a lot to give up. And the number of ads on the page: two.

ScreenHunter_03 Nov. 04 23.312. Facebook and Twitter integration. This one is big. I’ve often argued that social status updates will be the biggest single commodity for advertisers in the next two years — and the most sought-after feature by users, now. MSN got it right (although one blog disagrees with the execution) — put popular social media networks right on the front page. It’s nice to see MSN getting past the ‘we-don’t-feature-rivals’ mentality that has drained so many sites. Facebook integration (via Facebook Connect) works nicely for me and delivers the 2-way integration that we all want.

Now, if we can just improve on MSN’s choice of stories.

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