Microsoft Bing Generative AI Chatbot Experiments With Ads
Microsoft has begun testing embedding ads in the new Bing generative AI search engine and chatbot. Bing can leverage the GPT-4 large language model powering its search to incorporate advertising in the list of results, giving a generative AI flavor to a traditional search engine element.
Generative AI Ads
Microsoft is still testing out ways to make ads a part of the conversation between Bing and users. The idea is to use those ads to create revenue for those whose content helps supply the AI’s answer. One potential format would be like what’s in the image at the top of the page. Hovering over a link from an advertising publisher could display a list of additional links to that publisher. Another option might be having the conversational response to a question include ads marked as such. For example, asking about travel plan suggestions might produce ads for hotels or rental car companies.
“The early progress is encouraging. Based on our data from the preview, we are driving more traffic from all types of users. We have brought more people to Bing/Edge for new scenarios like chat and we are seeing increased usage. Then, we have uniquely implemented ways to drive traffic to publishers including citations within the body of the chat answers that are linked to sources as well as citations below the chat results to “learn more” with links to additional sources,” Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi explained in a blog post. “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. 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 Mehdi, Bing is attracting more than 100 million daily active users. The end of the waiting list for the AI has also led to an ongoing explosion of new access points and ways to use the new Bing, so advertising is an obvious need. The mobile app, Windows 11 taskbar, and website offer a mix of conversation styles that could lend themselves to ads, and the continual expansion of messaging limits means the more cautious conversational approach may be unnecessary compared to generating ad revenue like search engines usually do.