Guess I Can’t Use My Bing Rewards to Buy a New Mac, Then…
With its share of the U.S. search market greater than Yahoo’s (YHOO) and increasing, you’d think that Microsoft would have little use for the gimmicks it’s relied on in the past to offset the public’s indifference to its search offering. Particularly since they never seemed to do it much good. Certainly, Live Search Cashback–“The Search That Pays You Back!”–did little to bolster the company’s search market share. Neither did its SearchPerks rewards program–“Start earning tickets toward exciting prizes whenever you search the Web!”
But with its new Bing search engine’s market share already on an upward trajectory, perhaps things will be different this time. That’s obviously Microsoft’s (MSFT) hope, because the company is rolling out yet another traffic-boosting gimmick. It’s called Bing Rewards, and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from the name: An airline-style search loyalty program.
Here’s the pitch from Bing General Manager Danielle Tiedt: “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.”
Sounds pretty good, right–particularly if you’re already a Bing user? But the program does have a few catches. To be eiligible to participate, you’ve got to be running Internet Explorer 7 or above with the Bing Bar on a Windows machine. You must also have a Windows Live ID.