Bing Rewards lets people build up points by taking a number of actions, including searches or trying out new features, which can be redeemed for products including DVDs, games, gift cards or charitable donations.
It’s currently available only in the US to those who install a Bing toolbar within Internet Explorer on a Windows-based PC.
This is the latest attempt by Microsoft to drive traffic to its search engine and isn’t the first time it has tried a loyalty approach. Previous schemes included Searchperks and Cashback for Live Search, but neither had a major impact on Microsoft’s position in the search market.
Bing has gained traction in the US since its launch in summer 2009. According to The Nielsen Company, it overtook Yahoo as the second most popular search engine in the US in August this year, accounting for 13.9% market share. This compares to 13.1% for Yahoo and 65.1% for Google.
In a separate move, Bing has launched a Twitter feature which recommends people to follow based on search results. For example, searching for a film would bring up results including the Twitter feeds of its stars and director.
On the Bing Community blog, Mike Ching and Shubha Nabar from Bing Social said, “Our work with Twitter and Facebook over the past year or so has helped us create what’s in effect a ’social layer’ for search that brings social information into the search experience in real time. This is an important investment for us at Bing.”
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk