Microsofts MSN Spaces blogging features has, as expected, undergone a major upgrade to incorporate a revenue-sharing advertising option and a new partnership with Amazon.
Word of the pending features filtered out earlier this week. The new Spaces features went online sometime Thursday.
MSN Spaces is one of the most popular of the current class of free blogging features. Blogs are Web sites that usually serve as online personal journals, small business storefronts or soap boxes for any number of topics. The content is homemade, and there is usually links to other Web pages of possible interest.
At 28.3 million and counting, blogs have matured into an online gathering place for hundreds of millions of people, and become a target for advertising and other types of marketing.
Recent surveys indicate enterprises are also using blogs in greater numbers to market and sell their own image and products.
One of the most noticeable changes to MSN Space is the addition of ad and book sales revenue-sharing features through partnerships with Amazon.com and Web ad specialist Kanoodle, which is based in Getzville, N.Y.
For now, the Kanoodle-driven ad features are only available in the United States and Canada.
Spaces bloggers can also earn cash by plugging into the Amazon Associates affiliates program.
Revenue sharing has become a popular carrot-on-a-stick lure to attract more users to any advertising-supported Internet features. More eyeballs means more advertising revenue.
Microsoft has made no secret about its revenue-sharing intentions. In December, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates suggested cash and various freebees could improve the audience of Microsofts Internet search engine.
Other new Spaces features are automatically updated with contact information, plus integration of the blogs with portions of Xbox Live, Microsofts online gaming feature.