After working out some technical hurdles, the new msnbc.com went live at 5:51pmET this evening.
The new site goes beyond being the online home of the TV channel. It includes original reporting and encourages participation, asking visitors to “Speak Out” and “Join In.” And in what NBC calls a first for news websites, the user experience is entirely customizable, allowing visitors to create their own version and vision of a community. In the MY MSNBC feature fans can create profiles and their own streams of content.
MSNBC.com has been redirecting to NBCNews.com since NBC took full control of the domain from Microsoft (the MS in MSNBC) in July, 2012. NBC News Digital has spent the last year designing the new MSNBC.com focused on the cable channel, as well as refreshed look for NBCNews.com.
Microsoft and NBC entered into a joint venture in 1996 at which point msnbc.com became the Web home of NBC News. NBCNews.com is now that place. NBCUniversal spent $195 million to acquire half the site it didn’t own. The dissolution of the venture also meant a move of NBC digital employees from the Microsoft campus in Redmond, to offices at the Columbia Center building in Seattle.
MSNBC’s release on all the new features, after the jump…
MSNBC LAUNCHES MSNBC.COM
The Innovative New Site Offers an Interactive and Engaging Digital Home for the MSNBC Community
NEW YORK, NY – October 29, 2013 – MSNBC announced today the launch of its new digital home, www.msnbc.com. An extension and complement of the MSNBC TV on-air brand, msnbc.com is wholly owned by MSNBC’s parent company, NBCUniversal, having dissolved its 1996 joint venture with Microsoft last year.
msnbc.com features MSNBC show video and content, original reporting and analysis, and interactive discussions throughout. Innovative, immersive, and impactful, msnbc.com is designed to be an engaging user experience for MSNBC’s passionate community.
“MSNBC has a proud and enthusiastic fan base and the new msnbc.com was designed to fully embrace them,” said Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC. “Adding a strong, interactive web presence to our portfolio positions us at the forefront of multi-platform news providers and I’m happy to finally bring the MSNBC experience to all screens.”
msnbc.com’s elegant layout utilizes the very latest in rich web application technology. Users will immediately notice the site’s emphasis on striking photos and videos, allowing large visuals to quickly share the most pressing news.
The sleek, clean format showcases only ten stories on the homepage and four interactive tabs up top: EXPLORE, WATCH, JOIN IN, and SPEAK OUT. Each section has a unique purpose which aims not only to provide key information, but to get users involved in issues that are important specifically to them:
EXPLORE: Allows users to dig deeper into the topics that matter to them
WATCH: Fans can view their favorite MSNBC programs, from show clips to full episodes to live TV, and search the MSNBC video archive for the first time
JOIN IN: Thousands of discussion groups allow community members to connect with each other
SPEAK OUT: Innovative polling and commenting makes users’ voices heard in an engaging format
In addition, msnbc.com’s Vice President and Executive Editor Richard Wolffe has assembled a top-notch team of journalists whose incisive original reporting will shed light on the news of the day, as well as the key issues that are of top priority to the politically-minded. The site also features enhanced show pages, providing users with the opportunity to interact with their favorite MSNBC programs and hosts.
“There are so many great stories from our TV programs but this is more than a TV portal,” said Griffin. “We want users to have an enriched experience. Historically there hasn’t been a true gathering place for the progressive community to interact, learn from each other, and get involved. msnbc.com will change all that.”
In a first for online news websites, msnbc.com’s user experience is customizable, allowing the audience to create their own version and vision of a community. Users are encouraged to comment on articles, polls, photos, and videos; form groups and interact with one another; and even pose questions to the full msnbc.com audience by generating their own polls. In addition, the MY MSNBC feature is where people will create profiles and their own streams of content, making the site unique to every user. This personalization will allow users to see a selection of stories on topics that are of specific interest to them; follow whatever and whomever they like, including hosts, friends, and issues; save favorite articles; see a history of their comments; get notifications when someone responds to their remarks; and much more.
Another primary keystone is msnbc.com’s integration with social media. The new msnbc.com allows users to easily share stories, videos, and infographics to other social networks. Additionally, users can connect with each other by participating in “Watch Parties,” which pulls in social streams from Facebook and twitter to the WATCH section of the site, allowing users to start real-time discussions with other viewers who are watching the same show.
In addition, as part of NBCUniversal’s TV Everywhere cross-portfolio rollout, MSNBC reveals the launch of live streaming via msnbc.com, giving authenticated TV viewers unprecedented access to its live content. This offering marks an important step in NBCU’s long-term strategy to provide both viewers and marketers a user-friendly way to engage with its content on multiple platforms. TV Everywhere is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating cable, satellite, and telco services. The MSNBC app will launch on iOS and Android devices later this year.
General Electric and America’s Natural Gas Alliance are the site’s launch partners. GE, the first native ad partner for msnbc.com, will collaborate with MSNBC to deliver a content series that highlights how the Industrial Internet and Brilliant Machines Innovation are reshaping our world today. America’s Natural Gas Alliance will be creating sponsored polls in the Speak Out section of the site centered on natural gas facts.
Click here for more information about all of the features that msnbc.com offers.