Ads in Bing? The business of AI looks back to the future | WARC | The Feed
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Ads in Bing? The business of AI looks back to the future
Microsoft will explore placing subtler ads in the Bing chat experience, similar to its current search results advertising, but it raises a big question about whether a partial chatbot will make it any more useful than a simple search.
Why it matters
Monetising AI chatbot features is crucial for the companies that run them, but it throws up some difficult problems about their usefulness if they are understood to be partial. In some instances, it is unclear who is paying and whether it’s possible to ask for ad-free results.
It’s likely that sponsored answers aren’t yet the final type of advertising on Bing chat, especially considering that search advertising has worked in a similar way for decades. But in a direct-answer-giving chatbot, Microsoft risks eroding trust in its product (and therefore its usefulness to advertisers) before it can really start cutting into Google’s core business.
What’s going on?
In a blog post on Microsoft, by consumer chief marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi, the proposed development is couched in a set of new features designed to drive more traffic and increase revenue to publishers, including through a hover feature to show external links and “rich captions”.
- “We’re also exploring placing ads in the chat experience to share the ad revenue with partners whose content contributed to the chat response,” he added.
- “[A]ds will show in the new Bing, specifically in chat (as they do in the traditional search results),” said Microsoft communications director Caitlin Roulston, in a statement to tech site The Verge.
- It’s not the first time advertising has been part of the chat experience for some users as classic sponsored links and some ads inside shopping results. Some users report a small “Ad” citation.
Sourced from Microsoft, The Verge
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