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The big idea behind just about every website redesign these days generally revolves around “less is more” minimalism. But it looks like MSNBC.com’s redo actually means it: the new site, which just went fully live, promises to do an end with clicking on stories and on ads. By introducing a single-page-only format, the company hopes to sell large, customizable ads to marketers as it tries to build a larger audience.
It is also promising to
swear off reduce the use “standalone” slideshows, something that has become a staple of many news sites to drive pageview counts as a way of measuring audience usage and engagement to advertisers — instead relying mostly on slideshows that are “integrated,” though the difference was a bit unclear (update: Commenter Jason Lotito correctly points out that integrated slideshows “are part of the page, and don’t require you clicking to the next page.”). As a rep for the cable net told us,”Msnbc.com is in the business of selling advertiser experiences, not ad units.”
The site hasn’t completely abandoned clicking, of course. There’s a “social toolbar” for posting stories to Twitter or Facebook as well as e-mail. There are also options like the “Zoom Out” feature, which lets users set up a customizable news trends list in the dashboard view at the bottom of each page.
The other usual terms in web redesigns are often the use of bigger display ads and bigger video. The new MSNBC.com has both of those too. The video player also boasts easier search functions and, much like Reuters’ subscription-only VOD product, the videos will also come with transcripts.
An early glance at the site shows that it certainly is different from previous site overhauls. But whether it’s enough to make a difference with advertisers will take some time.