Microsoft Takes on Groupon, LivingSocial with Bing Deals
Microsoft is taking on coupon hunters’ favorite sites, Groupon and LivingSocial, with the launch of a new service called Bing Deals. The program is not an in-house creation built from scratch, but is being made available through a partnership between Microsoft and The Dealmap, a deal-tracking service that aggregates local deals, coupons and discounts from over 100 different sources and daily deal websites.
Bing Deals will work both on the desktop and mobile (via m.bing.com) and is also heavily integrated into Bing’s search engine itself.
On the Desktop
From Bing.com’s desktop search engine, deals will show up in the search results with a green deal icon. You don’t have to be specifically looking for a deal to find them – you could just be searching for the name of a local business, for example – and happen upon the deal.
In an example, Microsoft shows a search for a restaurant name in New York. In addition to links for user ratings, directions, its website, etc., a new link to the far right simply says “Deals.” From Bing, users can also make a reservation at that restaurant via Open Table integration, notes Microsoft.
Via Mobile Phones
On mobile phones, the Bing mobile website will now also feature a dedicated link to “Deals” directly on the mobile site’s homepage. From here, users will see the top daily deals in their metro area for the day. For deals even closer to home, a link to “nearby” deals will highlight places within just a few blocks of the phone’s current location.
Other mobile features let users browse by keyword and category (movie theaters, food & dining, nightlife, arts & entertainment, etc.) and, as the “Dealmap” name implies, there’s also a map that shows where these deals can be found.
Deals can also be shared with friends via email or clicked to immediately claim the deal with its provider. And like the desktop search engine, you don’t have seek out deals if that’s not what you’re looking for – any available bargains will be listed in the mobile Bing search results too, directly below the business offering the deal.
For now, the mobile browsing experience is only available on iPhone and Android. No word yet on when it arrives on other operating systems or whether Bing’s standalone iPhone application will also feature a dedicated Deals link (as of now, it does not), but we imagine it will be updated soon.
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