is a European based online-shopping portal with websites in the United Kingdom
, the Netherlands
. In February 2008, the company launched an American version of the site, Ciao.com. The site provides a forum where registered users can write reviews and give their opinions on a wide variety of products to help others make decisions. These reviews are available to the general public to help consumers, but are also rated by other Ciao users on their usefulness on a scale ranging from exceptional to off-topic. When a review is read by a member, the author gets money added to their account. Members may also receive money through online surveys and referring friends. Ciao is free to sign up for.
As well as offering reviews, the site also provides price comparison (provided by the likes of Ebay and Kelkoo) and allows the user to click through and purchase products.
Ciao claims that it gets 38 million visitors per month in Europe.
Microsoft Purchases Ciao
Microsoft made an offer of $486 million in late August 2008 to purchase Greenfield Online, the owner of Ciao GmbH and Ciao, Inc. Representatives from Microsoft said the purchase was primarily made to boost the company's Internet search and e-commerce business in Europe.