Microsoft Audience Network gives advertisers a boost with AI, LinkedIn data

Microsoft Logo at Ignite
Microsoft Logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft took to its Bing Partner Summit today to announce the Microsoft Audience Network, a platform for marketers to better target their advertisements.

Built on the Bing Ads platform, the goal of the Microsoft Audience Network is to make it easier for advertisers to profile the interests of their customers, Microsoft says. As part of that effort, the platform combines the AI with information from LinkedIn, Bing, and other Microsoft services, to improve targeting. From Microsoft:

At the very heart of our Microsoft Audience Network is the power of our Microsoft Graph. We combine our robust customer data sets with powerful machine learning to connect businesses with the consumers that matter most to them. Bing fulfills tens of billions global searches monthly generating high quality intent signals. The Microsoft Graph leverages search and web activity as well as Microsoft demographic and LinkedIn professional profile information to create a unique dataset with rich knowledge of consumers' interests and preferences.

Naturally, this brings up privacy concerns. But Microsoft claims it is committed to handling all data securely with an anonymized system.

As the use of data increases in our day to day lives, we continue to be deeply committed to privacy and to earning the trust of our customers. We anonymize and secure all data in our advertising systems, prioritize brand safety, and do not allow targeting based on any sensitive categories."

Microsoft Audience Network gives advertisers a boost with AI, LinkedIn

Microsoft has been gradually expanding more AI smarts to services for some time, so it's not surprising to see the company leverage them for its ad platform. The move comes at a time when Microsoft's ad business is steadily growing, according to the company's latest earnings report. As noted by Search Engine Land, Microsoft Audience Network will only be available in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia at launch.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl