This is what the Bing chatbot responses look like with ads

February 20, 2023

Users are now experiencing ads on the new Bing, resulting in suggested ads even in the generated conversational responses of its chatbot.

Last week, a report revealed that Microsoft started talks with ad agencies about monetizing the new ChatGPT-powered Bing. The plan seems to target, in particular, the search engine’s chatbot, though there are no specific details on how it will be implemented. Reuter’s source, nonetheless, said that Microsoft pointed out that the cited links in the AI-generated search responses (placed at the bottom) “could be places for ads.” At that time, the report said that Microsoft had already started trying the ads on some users. Now, we get a look at these ads.

In some of the Reddit posts shared by present Bing users, Bing can be seen suggesting ad products within responses. It can be recalled that during the early release of the new Bing, the chatbot’s responses were limited to conversational answers, offering direct details about the specific chat search. However, the inclusion of ads seems to turn the new Bing into an ad-generating machine that will include suggestions as long as the search item is related to any ad.

Bing chatbot ads in Ronnie Coleman search response
Image Credit: r_chard_40 – Reddit
Bing chatbot ads in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet search response
Image Credit: SushiFanta – Reddit

In some of the screenshots shared by Bing users, the chat can be seen directly suggesting ads for different searches instead of just providing simple details about them. When one of the users searched for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, the chatbot even asked if the user was “interested in buying Scarlet or Violet?” In another search about Ronnie Coleman, the Bing chatbot provided details about the retired professional bodybuilder and generated bodybuilding products complete with pictures, links, and prices.

Microsoft’s plan to monetize the new Bing is not a secret. After the rumored talks to invest $10 billion in ChatGPT-creator OpenAI, the software giant confirmed the third phase of its investment in the AI research laboratory and called it “a multiyear, multibillion dollar investment.” Additionally, Microsoft explained the partnership will allow both companies to “commercialize the resulting advanced AI technologies.” The ad business is part of this vision, but Microsoft also wants to extend this to Bing Search APIs. Recently, the company announced a price hike in the Bing Search APIs that will be observed starting on May 1 in all markets, resulting in a 1,000% hike in some cases.

What can you say about the ads in the Bing chatbot responses? Does it greatly change the user experience, especially now that users think the original “Sydney” was lobotomized by Microsoft?

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