Today, national French daily newspaper Le Monde launched a new format for its website Le Monde.fr.
The redesigned layout features a more visible header, with a centered logo and tabs for each section of the website, according to an email alert from Gorkana. Videos and other visual media are also more prominent under the new design.
The new website also includes a live-chat feature, in which users can ask journalists about news articles and receive answers almost immediately, as well as an alert window for news updates.
“Le Monde innovates with a live platform present on all website pages, offering coverage of various events under a chat format,” the email said. “Online users will have the possibility to question the editorial staff in real time.
The email said that the chat option is meant to increase interaction between Le Monde staff and online users, as well as demonstrate the recent integration of the print and online versions of the daily.
“The new design takes into account the publication’s strategic choice to unite its online and print editorial teams, which took effect last September with the creation of a political newsroom,” the email said.
Le Monde.fr, or Le Monde interactif, launched in 1995 independent from the print version of Le Monde, as previously reported. In 2007, Le Monde started a cross-platform journalist exchange, in which print journalists visited the digital offices to learn about their editorial procedures, and vice versa.
The launch of the new website is just one of numerous changes that came with the takeover by financiers Xavier Niel, Pierre Berge and Matthew Pigasse two years ago, whose buyout helped increase print circulation by 2 percent last year, Reuters reported Friday. Cost-cutting measures included dismissing two-thirds of the print staff, outsourcing print production to regions outside of Paris and unifying the print and digital staff, Reuters said.
Reuters also reported that in addition to redesigning the website with a technology focus, Le Monde’s new owners hoped to attain younger audiences with the launch of a weekend magazine edition this past September. Le Monde.fr is currently the third most popular media website in France, Reuters said.
According to journalismes.info, Le Monde.fr had 7.286 million unique visitors in January 2012 alone (the population of France is approximately 65,350,000).