Microsoft Upgrades Classifieds

Microsoft is rolling out a new classifieds offering that will allow users to pay to create more in-depth listings to run in a featured ads section.

The new service--powered by local listings technology company AdMission--launched first in the real estate and autos categories, and will roll out to other categories in the coming months, said Lief Welch, AdMission's vice president of business development. It will cost users between $15 and $20 for a four-week placement in the featured ads section.

The Microsoft classifieds service, Windows Live Expo, launched in beta in February. It includes social networking features and connectivity with Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Spaces. Users can restrict their ad to only their social connections, post their ads on Spaces, and allow prospective buyers to contact them through Messenger.

AdMission's technology platform can construct an in-depth ad from an ad that already exists, and then place the new ad in an interactive skyscraper unit on the relevant category page. The ads on the skyscraper scroll slowly, and a user can expand ads by clicking.

In addition to working with Windows Live Expo, AdMission powers classifieds for Web properties of The New York Times Company, Cox, Gannett, the Washington Post, and Hearst, as well as YellowPages.com.

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