Microsoft on Wednesday announced the general availability of Bing Pulse 2.0, a real-time voting platform that allows for instant feedback from an audience. The platform is used on a self-serve basis and is now available worldwide.
Major networks such as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and others had used Bing Pulse as part of TV programs. For example, Fox News used the platform during two of President Obama’s State of the Union addresses. Microsoft claims they saw 12.9 million votes during the first State of the Union address, and the results were displayed in real-time during the broadcast.
Viewers use the Bing Pulse app to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” the content of a presentation, whether that be a State of the Union address, a lecture, a conference panel or any other presentation. Viewers can vote every three to four seconds, and the collective votes are visualized as "pulses" on screen.
During a recent CNN broadcast, viewers used the Bing Pulse app to cast 300,000 votes in just 10 minutes, claimed Josh Gottheimer, general manager of advertising and strategy at Microsoft’s Bing Pulse.
“It exceeded expectations,” Gottheimer said to Real-Time Daily. “We didn’t promote it ahead of time, so from that perspective, were were thrilled.”
The idea behind Bing Pulse is to give audience members a platform from which they could express their opinions -- and perhaps more importantly, a platform that allowed their opinion to actually be heard. All of the voting is anonymous, the company says, and there is no data tracking.
“We just really believe people want to have their opinion heard,” said Gottheimer. “We really think in a meeting, or in any context, they are just looking for some way to engage.”
“If you think about Twitter, which is another medium people give feedback on, usually [a TV broadcast] will show a list of 10 tweets coming across the screen,” Gottheimer continued. Bing Pulse differs because rather than showing individual thoughts on a real-time event, it shows collective sentiment.
The technology was initially created for large-scale outlets, such as CNN or Fox News, to engage with TV viewers via second screens. The 2.0 version of Bing Pulse allows “anybody to set up their own 'Pulse' session,” said Gottheimer.
Gottheimer said Bing Pulse 2.0 will use a “freemium” model. "For a small meeting or non-profit session, it will be for free and more advertising-driven,” he explained. “With more seats, you get a licensing fee.”