Disney revamps website to exploit networking trend

The Walt Disney Company is gearing up to unveil its revamped Disney.com online offering next week as it aims to capitalise on the interest in social networking and further exploit the internet as a communications tool.

Disney president and chief executive officer Bob Iger will address the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, outlining the company’s vision for its digital presence.

A UK spokeswoman says the revamped website is a priority for the company in the coming year. She says the revamped site is designed to be a one-stop shop for consumers, families and children, whether they are seeking to buy products or interact online.

Initially the Disney.com website will have a US focus, but there are plans to roll out localised versions in the coming months. The revamped site will have a greater focus on Web 2.0 technologies, such as user-generated content, interaction and social networking.

The new online presence has taken a year to develop and analysts expect the site to be sleeker and easier to navigate, following criticisms the previous site was hard to use. Observers say that Disney sites regularly record high traffic, but issues with usability hinder growth. There have been rumours of concerns about the influence of the Disney Internet Group, which oversees most of the company’s online ventures and a calling for greater authority over their own online ventures.

Other Disney websites such as ESPN.com are thought to be easier to use due to greater input from the ESPN division’s management team.

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