Before The Paywall, News Int. Revamps MySun Social Features


News International’s Sun Online is beefing up its social network MySun with the kind of interaction features you would find on a genuine, big league social site.

Members can now join groups, message each other, upload video and will be notified of their friends’ recent activity on the site (via NMA). But the real aim is to promote The Sun’s news content….

But as this promo video shows, the venture is designed to plug The Sun’s news stories, daily radio show, email service and online quiz games at every opportunity. The site is geared towards generating frothing, angry comments about the news of the day and Sun journalists plan to use those comments to add the voice of Sun readers to their work — reporters will private message users to get their opinions on stories, NMA says.

The service launched in 2006 and uses technology from US social developer OneSite — but as well as fostering the interaction that publishers are all so keen on, could this fit into News Corp.’s ultimate end game of charging for online content?

Newspaper sites need an online fanbase large and passionate enough about its content to reach for their wallets — so an engaged audience could be a far more profitable one when the paywall is raised next year.

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