REDMOND, Wash., and SAN FRANCISCO, July 27, 2001 — The MSN® network of Internet services, the world’s largest consumer network, and Keen Inc., Your Personal Advisor, providing live, immediate advice for everyday life, today announced an agreement to deliver live advice and online content to users of MSN. Under the agreement, Keen’s pay-per-minute service will be offered across a variety of MSN properties, enabling users to talk live over the telephone to Keen advisers on subjects including computer help, astrology and financial advice. The relationship provides Keen with access to millions of potential customers and builds on the MSN vision to offer its users the best content and technology.
“MSN is committed to bringing superior content complemented by easy-to-use technology to millions of users of MSN, and Keen’s vision is in line with reaching those goals,”
said Jed Savage, director of national sales for MSN at Microsoft Corp.
“We are pleased to be able to offer consumers a resource that will help them find on-demand advice and make the most of their time online.”
Links to Keen’s personal advisers will be integrated throughout the MSN network, including MSN Search, MSN Communities and MSN Chat, enabling millions of customers of MSN to meet, share their interests, and offer and receive live, immediate advice via private Keen Calls. A customer of MSN who needs advice on anything from child care options to financial or tax advice will be able to follow a Keen topic link to choose and connect with a KeenSpeaker for a live telephone conversation. Keen is also a part of the Microsoft® Office Tools on the Web site, so users can connect with a Microsoft Certified Engineer for technical support by clicking on the Tools on the Web link in an Office document and following the links to Keen advisers, http://www.office.microsoft.com/ .
“MSN is the world’s leading Web portal and a strategic alliance for Keen because it’s the one place where millions of consumers go every day for Web content and services,”
said Karl Jacob, president and CEO of Keen.
“Our agreement with MSN delivers an already successful paid service to its customers and exposes our KeenSpeakers to millions of new customers.”
To receive live immediate advice, visitors to MSN will simply click on a link that takes them to Keen’s home page. Then they browse through a directory of speakers on the topic of their choice, click on the Call Now icon, and Keen connects the two parties for a live private telephone call without divulging personal information from either person.
Through http://www.keen.com/ and (800) ASK-KEEN (275-5336), consumers can browse a directory of KeenSpeakers (those who sell their advice on Keen) and connect for a live phone call. Because Keen makes the connection, consumers get the advice they’re looking for without revealing phone numbers or other personal information. People who wish to sell their advice can join Keen’s community of speakers free by creating a listing that describes the information and advice they wish to provide. KeenSpeakers set their own per-minute fee, and some members are making more than $2,000 per week. Good-quality advice is ensured through Keen’s consumer-based feedback and rating system, as well as through the credential verification service.
Keen is headquartered in San Francisco and has raised over $109 million from prestigious investors and strategic partners. These investors include Amerindo Investment Advisors, Attractor Investment Management, Benchmark Capital, CNET (Nasdaq
), Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, eBay (Nasdaq
), Impact Venture Partners, Inktomi (Nasdaq
), Innovation Investments, Integral Capital, Merrill Lynch (Nasdaq
), Microsoft (Nasdaq
), Pivotal Asset Management, Pyramid Technology Ventures L.P. and Vulcan Ventures.
MSN is the world’s most popular destination on the Web, attracting more than 230 million visitors per month. Available in 33 markets and 17 languages, MSN provides consumers with their home on the Web where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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