Abandonment rates not reported yet. The convergence/integration of blogs with other Microsoft assets, like MSN Messenger, Hotmail, photo sharing is supposed to improve retention. Will it? If there's an art to it, Yahoo!, Naver, Livedoor, and Microsoft are all experimenting madly.
UPDATE: Blake Irving, MSN's corporate vice president for the communication services and member platform group, was interviewed by eWeek's Matt Hicks...
MSN is making use of a common contact database across Spaces, Messenger and Hotmail to let users share contacts across the services. For example, in Messenger 7.0, users see icons called "gleams" that inform them when a contact has updated his or her Spaces blog.
Irving said the gleams have helped attract people to Spaces and, he suspects, have led many users to actively update their blogs as they notice friends regularly refreshing their blogs. Users are updating about 170,000 blogs on MSN Spaces every day and uploading about 1.9 million photos a day, Irving said.
Let's clarify something. Some report that 170k daily updaters is a small fraction of 4.5 million (around 4%), meaning that Spaces is not being adopted or getting traction. That's wrong. Most bloggers don't update daily.
A better indicator is how many update their blogs in the last 30 days. Let's compare MSN's 170k to LiveJournal's 291k. LJ's daily 290k active users represent 1.5 million active LJ'ers having some activity in the last 30 days, a daily:monthly ratio of 1:5.15 . So MSN Spaces should have ~880k active users. Note that we're working from daily activity out. Given 4.5 million signups, around 1 in 5 have become active users, not bad at all in a world of free hosting.
p.s. Should we start tracking gleam stats?