MSN.com is Microsoft’s web portal, which is a rare term these days. With services being built into apps and pushed out to devices, web portals have faded from the limelight, but a large number of people still use web portals. In fact Microsoft sees millions of page views on MSN.com every day. In early October Microsoft pushed out a redesign of MSN, but how did that affect their number of daily page views?
Before the redesign of MSN.com, Microsoft was seeing their daily page views hover between 130 and 120 million a day, once dipping down to almost 110 in May. After the redesign there was a visible spike in daily traffic up to 140 million. This was the highest daily page views in 2014. After some time the page views dropped off to maybe 135, then rebounded to hover around 140 through October and November. This is a modest 7.7% increase in daily traffic, which is impressive for such an old site.
This is good news for Microsoft but not the point of the redesign. The core focus of redesigning MSN.com seemed to be bringing Microsoft’s cloud services to the front, and giving users quick access without leaving the site. Microsoft knows that apps are the future of services and the web portals may not be around forever, so they are trying to span the gap between their services and MSN. Rebranding their Windows and Windows Phone apps to MSN brings the brand back into relevancy with today’s app paradigm.
The real measure of MSN’s redesign would be to see how many new customers were acquired via the new MSN.com. Microsoft is a traditional technology company which makes its money from paying users. MSN may be a great web portal for people to read news, stocks, weather, and sports, but Microsoft really wants people to discover Office 365, OneDrive, Skype, and Xbox Music so they can gain more paying users and keep making the great software we’ve all come to expect from for years to come.