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The inevitable is happening — Microsoft's AI-powered Bing Chat is getting ads.
- The experience of finding answers on the new Bing Chat powered by AI will now include ads.
- Microsoft says ads will be variable in nature, so different users could see different types of ads.
- The company also wants to drive traffic to publishers from where Bing sources its responses through rich captions.
Microsoft is adding ads to responses from Bing’s AI-powered chatbot, the company said in a blog post published on Wednesday. It’s the inevitable result of Bing’s 100 million and growing daily active users since the introduction of the ChatGPT-powered AI features.
Talking about the development with The Verge, Microsoft’s Director of Communications, Caitlin Roulston said, “Yes, ads will show in the new Bing, specifically in chat (as they do in the traditional search results).” Roulston went on explain that there might be some variability in how these ads are displayed since the new Bing is in preview at the moment.
If you want to know what ads in Bing Chat could look like, check out this example shared by Debarghya Das, who asked Bing about cheap Honda cars. Bing placed ads in the text after a few sentences.
Bing Chat now has Ads!It’s going to be fascinating to see how the unit economics of Ads in language models will unfold and affect search advertising.— Deedy (@debarghya_das) March 29, 2023
Microsoft says it is “exploring placing ads in the chat experience to share the ad revenue with partners whose content contributed to the chat response.”
While it’s clear Microsoft plans to monetize Bing’s new AI chat experience with ads, we don’t know how the company plans to handle ad volumes. How many ads will be shown per response? Will ads be restricted to these in-text ad boxes or will we see bigger, more disruptive ads? It’s something we’ll have to wait and watch.
Meanwhile, Microsoft says it also wants to drive more traffic to publishers through rich captions in Bing chat. “We want to increase revenue to publishers. We seek to do this by both driving more traffic to them through new features like chat and answers and by also pioneering the future of advertising in these new mediums,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President Yusuf Mehdi said in the blog post.