Local Microsoft MSN Kenya Portal Goes Live

Asil Yerdekalmazer Executive Producer Apps, Media and Publishing Group for MEA MSN Kenya Launch Juuchini

The Kenyan version of  Microsoft’s popular news and entertainment MSN portal has gone live in Kenya. This portal aims to bring a fully localized version of one of the world’s most visited web properties to deliver up-to-the-minute news and a complete set of Microsoft services to Kenya’s internet users. This portal is operated by South Africa’s Kagiso Media – a Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed media company – that is is partnership with Microsoft. With a presence in 50 countries, a position as the number one portal in 26 countries, 460 million users, and 18 billion page views a month, the Microsoft-owned MSN is a heavy hitter in the online international publishing market. MSN Kenya offers dedicated News, Entertainment, Sports and Lifestyle and Weather channels including property and careers content, tailored to the needs of the Kenyan market.

“Though many Kenyans already visit our general African and South African portals, we believe that the Internet market in Kenya is now of a size that it deserves a dedicated MSN portal of its own. We will be using a similar formula in Kenya to the one that has been so popular in South Africa – locally relevant, easy to digest content that is packaged in an attractive manner,” Says Marcus Stephens, GM for publishing at Kagiso New Media. “MSN is already one of Africa’s largest portals with approximately 3.3 million unique browsers per month. The South African version of the portal has 75,000 Facebook fans, showing how engaged and passionate its audience is. Kagiso’s experience in South Africa has shaped its approach to the Kenyan market.”

“Our principles are to deliver a social, people-powered experience to our audience; to be close to people wherever they are and however they access the Internet; to collaborate with content partners who can add depth and breadth to our offering; to deliver quality for advertisers and readers; and to be current with the now,” says Stephens. “We believe that our approach is aligned with what Kenyan audiences are seeking.”

The portal is powered using the Microsoft Bedrock Content Management System which makes it easy for MSN Kenya to deliver content to nearly any device with which the user accesses the Internet. MSN Kenya places a heavy emphasis on mobile access to the news and has created mobile versions of the sites that can be accessed from feature phones as well as smartphones and tablets. Bing apps are also available and these allow MSN to serve Kenya across multiple screens, meeting the demand for many people who are getting online for the first time through their mobile devices.

Seeing how content is at the heart of the MSN experience, MSN Kenya delivers a rich selection of syndicated and original content for its audience. In addition to full access to the store of global MSN content, MSN Kenya will offer one-stop access to Reuters, Associated Press, Getty Images, and AFP content as well as news from carefully chosen African partners. These partners will be insturmental towards proviving the daily re-freshed content that will appear on the MSN Kenya. This portal will also provide a platform for local bloggers, writers and ‘social influencers‘ to share their thoughts and ideas.

Stephen believes that with more than 10 million Internet users in Kenya, MSN Kenya is going to be an excellent platform for brands that want to market their products and services to the country’s fast-growing middle-class. He also strongly believes that Kenya is a truly exciting opportunity to serve readers and advertisers with a local version of a world-class product.

Another equally good product, Howzit MSN, which it the South African localized version of the MSN portal is also published by Kagiso Media. This portal alone is said to attract more than 3.14 million unique users around the world each month by providing its users with quality web content to consumers and powerful online advertising solutions to marketers. It attracts a large mainstream audience with its core news service as well as several niche audiences with specialized content. Advertisers are also able to target a large audience on this South African platform, Howzit MSN.

Kagiso Media has a similar product that was recently launched in Nigeria as MSN Nigeria.

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