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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

MSN Spaces Launches

Microsoft's blogging service, MSN Spaces, has launched. Highlights from the press release and the fact sheet include:

MSN Spaces Debuts Alongside Improvements to MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail To Help Customers Connect in a Seamless and Meaningful Way

Spaces is released in beta, as well as a public beta of MSN Messenger 7, updates to Hotmail, and lots of integration.

"Communicating with others is the No. 1 thing people do online. As widely used as our individual services are today, we know we can do more to help our customers communicate across the different modes they use, like blogs, instant messaging and e-mail," said Blake Irving, corporate vice president for the MSN Communication Services and Member Platform Group. "The investments MSN is making in MSN Spaces, MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail are designed to break down some of the barriers between the services so people can focus less on the technology and more on the people they care about."
Spaces is available in 14 languages and 26 locals. Spaces is not just a blog, but a dynamic online scrapbook where consumers can share photo albums, personal music lists and more. You get 10 megabytes of space for photos. Readers can receive notifications of updated Spaces through Messenger. You can sign up for Spaces at or through Messenger.

Spaces can be made private, or limited to specific people. You can allow comments. Spaces gives detailed statistics (something every blog tool should have).

You can upload pictures and create slideshows on your Space, share playlists, or purchase music. There is also a feature called Contact Cards, which are a snapshot of what your space is currently about, so someone can get a quick peek at your blog. Spaces offers RSS feeds, and MSN will be launching My MSN soon, which can act as an RSS reader. You can post by email or mobile phone. There are five templates and 15 backgrounds (hopefully more are coming).

The new Messenger has some weird features where you try to jolt the attention of your contact by "nudging" the window, "winking", or throwing animations around the screen. The Messenger site does not seem to be working yet, and the Spaces site is very slow, so I'll have more of a write-up when they're stable. The sites will be up at midnight, Eastern Time.
(via Dare Abasanjo's blog)

UPDATE: The Las Vegas Sun has an article. They focus on the fact that all Spaces bloggers need Passports (as well as all commentors). Microsoft is hoping to leverage the interoparibility of its services to give users a good reason to check them out. Expect to see the final release in June. You may notice the new MSN Search in the Messenger beta. Also:
Although Microsoft trails Google and AOL, Gartenberg said it's not too late because blogging is only just catching on with mainstream users.

According to a February report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, only 2 percent of Americans have created blogs, while 11 percent have read those of others.


Anonymous mike said...

i use spaces!
thanks to ms.

7:02 AM  

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