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Microsoft boosts web opportunities for advertisers

Microsoft’s MSN service has announced a range of new advertising and marketing opportunities for companies via its MSN Messenger...

Microsoft’s MSN service has announced a range of new advertising and marketing opportunities for companies via its MSN Messenger 7.0 instant messaging service and the new MSN Spaces service.

Every month more than 155 million users log in to the MSN Messenger service.

New "theme packs" in MSN Messenger 7.0, which include backgrounds, emotions, dynamic display pictures and Winks, will now provide marketers with more opportunities to position their brands on MSN.

Advertisers including Sprite and Adidas have signed up to deliver theme packs with the service.

Other advertising options include ads in MSN video conversations, conversation window text ads, sponsored MSN Tabs, improved video and advertising opportunities in MSN Today, and improved half-banner ads on the Messenger client.

In addition to new global advertising opportunities in MSN Messenger, MSN has announced Volvo Cars as the first US advertising partner for MSN Spaces.

MSN Spaces was launched as a beta in the US last year is now being rolled out worldwide. The service allows users to share pictures, music and other items, and can be used to easily set up a personal blog.

"Deeper brand integration into MSN Messenger and MSN Spaces will enable our advertisers to connect with their target audiences in more creative, spontaneous and unobtrusive ways," said Joanne Bradford, vice president and chief media revenue officer for MSN.

"Integrating great advertising opportunities is core to our product development process, and as consumers connect through these new branded entertainment experiences in the MSN environment, the results for advertisers are higher brand awareness and favourability," she said.

Yahoo recently launched a beta service called "360" to compete with MSN Spaces.

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