Gotta hand it to Microsoft Bing for being persistent. The search engine today launched a preview of a new loyalty program, dubbed Bing Rewards, offering redeemable credits to people for conducting searches.
Writes Bing GM Danielle Tiedt in a blog post: “Similar to other loyalty programs (grocery stores, frequent traveler programs, credit cards and more) Bing Rewards is a great way to get rewarded for doing what you love to do online—searching, exploring, and discovering. And while you can redeem credits for cool stuff, you can also use your earned credits to give back – allowing you to donate your credits to education charities.”
It’s far from the first time Microsoft has tried to boost interest by offering more than search results in exchange for searches. Earlier examples include Live Search Cashback, which became Bing Cashback (R.I.P.), and search-game site Club Bing (previously Live Search Club), which is still in existence.
Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land points out another that I didn’t even remember, SearchPerks, also gone by the wayside. Sullivan quotes a Microsoft representative saying that Bing Rewards is more about engaging more deeply with people using Bing, as opposed to measurably juicing Bing’s market share.
Bing Rewards works via the Bing Bar plugin. It’s available only in the U.S. and requires a Windows PC running Internet Explorer, not working on Macs or non-Microsoft web browsers. Here’s the official FAQ.