Ciao US Goes the Way of MSN Shopping

June 16, 2009

Microsoft announced today that Ciao in the US will cease to exist as of July 1. Feeds will no longer be processed and the Ciao.com domain will redirect to Bing Shopping.

This pretty much ties up to the MSN consolidation in the US. Ciao will no doubt continue to exist in Europe. The real question is if and how they will more formally integrate Ciao with Bing in Europe. Right now it just redirects from Bing to Ciao, which is a little confusing from the user perspective, but maintains the SEO advantage of the already popular sites and leaves intact the social aspect of Ciao as well. I imagine the Ciao US social network never grew significantly, but the European network is probably pretty substantial, so Microsoft won’t want to lose that aspect. We often see for sites with more of a social focus such as Ciao that the unique visitor numbers, and therefore impressions, are significantly raised, even if click-throughs to merchants are relatively lower. This suggests a higher revenue opportunity from display advertising, which makes one wonder why display ads on Ciao are scarce.