Microsoft said it is exploring some ideas to include ads in Bing Chat. Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President & Consumer Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft, shared the news recently and showed what these ads would look like.
Ads on Bing Chat are no surprise, as monetizing the new Bing is one of the main points of Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar AI investments. Last month, some users reported seeing ads on the generated responses of Bing. In one example, a Reddit user shared a screenshot of the bot adding product suggestions after it was asked about a topic related to the ads. Also in the same month, Reuters reported that Microsoft met with a major ad agency to discuss these ad-related matters for businesses. Now, the company confirmed the plans, with Mehdi detailing some of them.
“In addition to what we’ve already built into the preview experience, we are also exploring additional capabilities for publishers including our more than 7,500 Microsoft Start partner brands,” Mehdi wrote in a blog post. “We recently met with some of our partners to begin exploring ideas and to get feedback on how we can continue to distribute content in a way that is meaningful in traffic and revenue for our partners.”
According to him, the company shared with the partners the new ad ideas it has been exploring, including the new “expanded hover experience” in the Bing Chat responses. In this, Mehdi said that hovering over a link from a cited publisher will display more links. In another one dedicated to Microsoft Start partners, a caption of Microsoft Start licensed content will be placed next to the chat answer.
Bing Chat now has Ads!
It's going to be fascinating to see how the unit economics of Ads in language models will unfold and affect search advertising.
— Deedy (@debarghya_das) March 29, 2023
Bing user Debarghya Das shared some samples of these ads in the responses generated by Bing Chat. In the screenshots, Bing can be seen putting an “Ad” caption in the responses. A Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge that some users might encounter these ads now.
“Yes, ads will show in the new Bing, specifically in chat (as they do in the traditional search results),” Caitlin Roulston, a director of communications at Microsoft, told The Verge. “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.”