Microsoft’s helpful Bing AI chatbot will be getting more ads, the company recently announced in a blog post, which was penned by corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi. In a statement to The Verge, Caitlin Roulston, the company’s director of communications, clarified that the “ads will show in the new Bing, specifically in chat (as they do in traditional search results).”
Twitter user Debarghya Das provided a helpful visual on what the ads may look like within Bing chatbot after seeing some appear when asking about cheap Hondas. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are a number of tiny Ad boxes in the most relevant spots. These boxes will link back to Bing, of course. The placement is logical and the smaller boxes aren’t too intrusive, so hopefully it won’t be too much of a nuisance. They’re basically linked citations.
This news isn’t too surprising, as Microsoft has been using ads in Bing since February. However, the ads pop up as inside shopping results or sponsored links. Now Microsoft plans to embed these ads within Bing’s chat box responses. My only concern is the amount of ads Microsoft plans on incorporating. I’m not a fan of ads in general, especially if it’s a deluge of them. I’m easily aggravated by the constant ad breaks on Hulu, for example, as they constantly disrupt the flow of the show I’m watching. If I’m ever going to use Bing chatbot, I don’t want it to disrupt the experience for me.
Monetizing Bing chatbot makes sense as far as running a business goes, but how will it impact the user experience? I knew the monetization of the AI assistant would come sooner or later, especially with Bing amassing over 100 million daily active users. Microsoft is looking for a way to make money with its GPT-4-powered Bing AI chatbot and this is how its going to do it. Hopefully, the intuitive user experience will remain intact. Fingers crossed.