Microsoft Live Spaces (rebranded last summer from MSN Spaces) is rolling out some new features this morning and announcing recent usage updates. The enhancements are aimed at making Live Spaces more of a social network and less of a simple blogging/home page service. The changes should be live at 6 am PST.
The main change is that the new home page when you log in shows what’s happening with contacts in your social network, a similar approach as Facebook. Users can also now send messages directly to each other, and add a guestbook module that allows visitors to leave rich-text comments, including photos and videos. There are also enhancements to their APIs – see dev.live,com/spaces for details.
Microsoft says Live Spaces now has 93 million user spaces; recent Comscore stats put them at 112 million monthly unique visitors. 4 billion photos have been uploaded to the service by users, and 18 million new photos are uploaded daily.
Live Spaces is clearly one of the larger social networks. Like Google’s Orkut, though, most of its users seem to be non-U.S. and it is frequently forgotten in this MySpace/Facebook world.