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Disney Overhauls Disney.com Again

The Walt Disney Co., concerned that its main Web site isn't entertaining enough, is once again overhauling Disney.com. This will be the second recent makeover for the company's Web hub, which is the top destination for children's entertainment on the Web, although it faces increasingly stiff competition from the likes of Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and WebKinz.

Among the changes: more free video, including full-length films like "Finding Nemo," more games, and more interactive features that take advantage of users' cell phones. For example, users who create fairy avatars in a virtual world called Pixie Hollow will be able to create pet butterflies on their cell phones. As Larry Shapiro, executive vice president for mobile content, said: "I'm going to want to use my phone to feed and love my butterfly all the time...That kind of emotional vesting is what we're after." Meanwhile, video search pages will look a lot like those of Google's YouTube, as Disney designers figure that that's how kids have gotten used to viewing Web video.

Disney's last overhaul of Disney.com came in January 2007, when the site added social networking features with a focus on more of its hit franchises like "Hannah Montana." Since then, Disney.com has increased its monthly unique visitors by about 40%, according to comScore. In May, Disney.com attracted 28.4 million uniques, ranking it first among children and family oriented sites.

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