Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) says it has started to test new, topic-focused versions of its MSN home pagebeginning with one dedicated to entertainment news. The reason? The company says it wants to offer users the option of a home page that better meets their interests, although it emphasizes that the current MSN home page is not going away. The move will also presumably give advertisers a way to target their homepage display ads to users with certain general interests.
The first test prominently features entertainment news and videos because of the category's tremendous popularity online. MSN has been trying to double down on entertainment content, launching its Wonderwall celebrity site in early February. Citing comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) figures, Microsoft says that Wonderwall has already jumped to number three in the "entertainment news category" with 8.1 million unique visitors in February, roughly 1.3 million uniques behind AOL's TMZ.com and Yahoo-owned OMG and ahead of People.com and E! Online.
By Joseph Tartakoff