Microsoft now lets advertisers add chat bots to Bing search results

Microsoft now lets advertisers add chat bots to Bing search results

Microsoft this week launched (opens in new tab) a pilot program that will see chat bots come to Bing search results. Targeted at advertisers, the chat bot extensions will let companies connect with customers who may have questions using a chat bot extension.

From Microsoft:

As users interact in more conversational ways through voice and search, brands you will reach users in a more natural way through direct conversation, keeping customers informed by asking questions and gaining answers quickly through an intelligent bot. For example, if you are advertising for a cell phone carrier and you know that people often ask questions about upgrading their phone, Bing can answer questions with Chat Bot Extensions right within our main search results page.

Microsoft is testing this out with a limited group of advertisers as part of a pilot program. But if you want to get an early look at the way it works, you can search Bing for Monsoon Restaurant Seattle, which already has a bot extension up and running. Tucked away in the business information box at the top of the results page is the option to ask the Monsoon Restaurant bot for help. Simply click the "Chat" button and a chat window connected to your Skype will pop up in the lower-right corner of the browser window. From there, you can ask questions about things like hours, parking, dietary restrictions, and more.

Bing already does a pretty good job of surfacing useful information about businesses on its results pages, but a more interactive way to field questions could help customers drill down and find exactly what they're looking for more quickly. Expect to see more bot extensions pop up for businesses over time.

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

  • When this feature by release for all users
  • I'm just waiting for them to pull the plug on Bing. After apple changed to google it can only go downwards, especially because Windows is shrinking.
  • I am so glad i use duck Duck go, just a simple search engine which does what it is suppose to do, search and no gimmicks.,  
  • Almost all of MS announcements never gets released Never seen a bot on any results
  • I'm amazed at the general levels of negativity here on WC. Surely, if you don't like what you see, you are free to go elsewhere. After all, too many seem to think that the grass is greener... I for one, don't see the use of 'Bots' to help with Bing searches is a negative. Only time shall tell whether there is going to be a long term benefit. Let's not condemn the idea before it has half a chance.