Bing's new AI could soon get an ad-infusion

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 21, 2023

In 2018, Microsoft published The future of AI marketing: human ingenuity amplified, on its Ads website. In it, Microsoft describes how organizations may take advantage of AI in marketing. Now, in 2023, Microsoft is reportedly planning on integrating ads into the Bing AI experience.

Microsoft has invited users to test the Bing AI Chat and more news come from the testers including the friend, game, and assistant modes.

The report, which comes from Reuters, claims that Microsoft is already discussing advertising options with agencies. A first test on Bing has started already, but it appears very limited at this point.

Microsoft showcased a demo version of the new Bing to representatives of ad agencies to highlight the technology and its potential for marketing. According to the report, Microsoft has plans to integrate paid links "within responses to search results". It is unclear what is meant by that specifically. Options would include integrating text links into the responses of the AI, or adding ads to the responses that can be visually distinguished by users from the non-marketing part of the answer. Most likely, ads will be placed next to AI generated content, but not as part of it.

Microsoft's Bing search engine has seen a surge of users ever since Microsoft demoed the capabilities of AI in Bing. The company launched a beta program and started to invite some users already to test the new AI-powered Bing functionality. Millions more are on a waitlist at the time of writing, and it will likely take several weeks or even months before most get their invitation to start using the new Bing as well.

The low number of users who participate in the test currently give Microsoft time to figure out how to best monetize these new user experiences. Unlike traditional search results, which display lists of results based on ranking algorithms, responses by Bing's AI tend to be more in the form of dialogues.

Microsoft is considering other advertising formats, next to the traditional paid links search advertising model on Bing. One format that Microsoft highlighted specifically was to display ads to very specific queries. A user asking Bing's AI for hotel recommendation, might get hotel ads displayed in a different way.

Closing Words

Both Microsoft and Google will monetize AI using advertisement. It may not be set in stone how the companies plan to do so, but display ads will play a big role. Users may switch to using AI chats predominantly, and this would result in search ads losing relevancy.

There is also the danger of adding parameters to AI conversations that would prioritize answers that can be monetized over those that are not as easily monetized. Search engines might lose credibility if this is taken too far though, as users may wonder whether the answer itself is the best possible one, or just there to earn revenue.

Bing's new AI could soon get an ad-infusion
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Bing's new AI could soon get an ad-infusion
Microsoft is considering adding advertisement to the AI-powered part of its Bing search engine.
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  1. Roebie said on September 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

    “the not so perfect search utility in XP”
    At least it worked. Both Vista and Seven take far too much time indexing and searching on networked drives.
    A search for all files with a certain string in the filename takes 3 times longer on Seven (and 4 times longer on Vista) than on XP.
    The indexing service takes too much memory too.
    I’ll stick to Copernic Desktop Search for now!

  2. Kari said on September 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    What a crap! My customers don’t find their documents with windows search function, even if it is almost in right front of you. Microsoft’s policy is to keep everything messy and protected, and the most stupidiest thing is to show different name for the folder than what it actually is.

    Is it too much to ask, if the search function would work like in XP? Yes it is…
    Good luck with Windows Search, third party software rules in this case… too.

  3. Fuddler said on October 18, 2012 at 6:13 am

    The term negation function doesn’t work.

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