Microsoft Expands Bing Rewards, Members Earn Credits For Content Searches
Microsoft has expanded the Bing Rewards program to allow U.S. members to earn credits by exploring content on MSN, as well as track credit balances on the home page. The company launched the loyalty program in 2010, replacing two prior failed attempts with SearchPerks and Cashback.
Bing Rewards supports more than 3 million members that redeem credits earned across Bing and MSN to the Bing Rewards redemption center for rewards, such as brand name gift cards from Amazon, Groupon, Starbucks, Red Envelope, and Redbox movie and game releases.
There are also opportunities to make charitable donations to a variety of causes. Searchers must have a Windows Live ID account.
The rewards program where searchers earn apps and games for Windows Phone 8, Xbox Music Passes and Skype Credit creates more than a rewards program. It fully integrates services with the Bing search experience across Microsoft properties. One login gives Microsoft a clear attribution path across devices and services to track users and serve up ads.
Although Bing continues to grow in search market share, the latest numbers from comScore suggest a stressed loyalty program. Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market with 67.1% market share in March 2013, followed by Microsoft Sites with 16.9% and Yahoo Sites with 11.8%. Microsoft will try to improve on the growth of Bing Rewards with the expansion to MSN.
The move appears part of a rebranding effort. At a recent event in Norway, Microsoft GM for Windows Phone spoke about "reimagining" Microsoft to bring marketing, branding and design into alignment. A new Bing logo concept surfaced on YouTube in late April.
Microsoft continues to reinvent a handful of services. In a blog post Tuesday, the company said it shuttered Hotmail and completed the upgrade of millions of users from the Hotmail to the Outlook platform. That meant transferring 150 petabytes of data in six weeks. The efforts bring Microsoft's mail service up to date with the Windows 8 operating system.