Hey everyone! Nuked here, bringing you the latest news on the world of technology. Microsoft’s Bing chatbot is getting ads, and I’m here to tell you all about it.
Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi said in a blog on Wednesday that the company is “exploring placing ads in the chat experience,” and when we asked for more details, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that you may start seeing them soon.
Caitlin Roulston, a director of communications at Microsoft, says in a statement to The Verge that ads will show up in the new Bing, specifically in chat. She also mentioned that “since the new Bing is in preview, there may be some variability in how it’s currently showing up. We’re still exploring new opportunities for ad experiences and will share more over time.”
It appears that Microsoft has been testing ads in Bing for awhile — it reportedly discussed them with ad agencies in February. Debarghya Das shared an example of what these ads might look like after a query about cheap Honda cars. After two of the sentences, there are citations with a small “Ad” box that appear to link back to Bing.
We still don’t know how many ads we will see or how Microsoft will decide whether to show an ad or source a response from a publisher or website. In the blog post, Mehdi says that Microsoft wants to “share the ad revenue with partners whose content contributed to the chat response” but this doesn’t answer the question of how often ads will be shown.
Whatever the balance is between ad and non-ad responses, it will add to the cognitive load of determining whether you can trust a given response. If you want to try and see a Bing Chat ad for yourself, you’ll likely get through the waitlist pretty quickly.