Microsoft is offering its users a chance to channel or direct where its charitable efforts go to through the ‘I’m Initiative’. This initiative sends a portion of Windows Live Messenger advertising revenue to a selected charity.
Now, in order for this effort to work, a user must add a special code to the end of their display name. This will then be tracked. In fact, the more often a user sends instant messages, the more Microsoft will donate to that particular charity.
An icon “I’m”, which in short stands for “I’m making a difference”, would appear alongside the display name of all the users who are participating in the initiative started by Microsoft.
In order to participate in this initiative, users will need to have Windows Live Messenger 8.1. Besides, only users who reside in the United States can participate. However, message to friends who are overseas will still count.
According to Microsoft, each participating group would receive a minimum of $100,000 per year. In fact here is what the Windows Live Messenger team said on its blog, “Not everyone has the financial ability to give money to the causes they care about. That is where the i’m Initiative steps in – it enables Windows Live Messenger users to make a difference by directing a portion of Messenger’s advertising revenue to a cause of their choosing.”
Some of the charities that are participating in this initiative include the American Red Cross, the Sierra Club, National AIDS Fund, stopglobalwarming.com and UNICEF.
Microsoft also said that only one cause can be supported at a time. However, the company has said that users can switch between charities as often as they like.