Bing now aggregates, recommends local deals
Bing now scours a handful of deals sites to look for special offers users can find on their desktop, or their phones. The tool makes use of location as well, for finding deals on the go.
Microsoft is trying to make it easier to find nearby deals, and today has launched a deals service that aggregates them from around the Web.
Bing Deals, which will show up for both desktop and m.bing.com users, aggregates deals from a number of deal providers, including LivingSocial, Groupon, and Restaurant.com. On the mobile side, when combined with a phone's real-time location, this lets users see which of the deals from those services are nearby.
The technology itself is a partnership with deals aggregation site The Dealmap. All told, Microsoft says Bing Deals adds up to more than 200,000 offers at launch.
In a phone interview with CNET last week, Bing director Stefan Weitz described the new feature as a better way to find money-saving deals.
"People are not as good about finding deals as we think they are," Weitz said. "The coolest thing about this is that when you pop into the m.bing experience and hit that deals button, the first thing we show you are what some of the hottest deals are for you."
Those picks are based on Bing's algorithms, Weitz explained. That means the system will also take into account if a deal is more than half off, and if it's been shared by a number of people.
In the move to add deals, Weitz said Microsoft was not trying to build its own deals system, or to compete with some of the existing deals businesses.
"It got me thinking back to the earlier premise of Bing, which from the get-go was really about partnerships," Weitz said. "We can build a lot of this stuff ourselves...but if you look at how Bing generally has grown successfully it's been because we're almost recognizing where we can tap into those who have already come before us and done a really good job."
Weitz said that same approach would continue with some future additions to the service.
"You'll see more and more of these things over the next several months here, about how we're trying to expand the scope of Bing, but doing in a way that encourages independent innovation in the industry--doesn't try to quash it, but actually encourages it--but allows us to offer it to a very broad audience," Weitz said. "Broader than likely a lot of these smaller sites are having access to."
Weitz and Bing mobile program manager Tom Marsh demo the new deal finder in the video below:
Video: Bing Launches Deals