Microsoft plans to put ads in its AI-powered Bing Chat

30 Mar 2023

Image: © Dennis/

The company said that Bing’s recent popularity surge has created an opportunity for publishers, while some images suggest ads have already made their way into Bing Chat.

Microsoft has revealed plans to place ads directly into its Bing chatbot, in a move to bring more value to publishers on the search engine.

The tech giant aims to capitalise on the search engine’s recent growth by “exploring additional capabilities for publishers”.

One of these measures includes placing ads from Microsoft Start partners into Bing chat answers to drive engagement to those sites, while giving these partners a portion of the ad revenue.

Microsoft Start is the company’s mobile app that features various news content, which currently has more than 7,500 partner brands according to Microsoft.

Bing has received a big boost in recent months, since the tech giant incorporated OpenAI’s technology into the search engine to give conversational-style answers to user questions.

Earlier this month, Microsoft revealed that Bing crossed the 100m daily active user milestone, with roughly a third of these being new users.

The company’s corporate VP and consumer chief marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi said the rush of new users has created “new opportunity for publishers”.

“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,” Mehdi said in a blog post.

A recent tweet by Glean founding engineer Debarghya Das suggests that Microsoft has already begun experimenting with ads in the Bing chatbot. The image shows reference links provided by the Bing chatbot that have ‘Ad’ labels next to them.

“These conversations are early days but we’re hearing positive feedback as we look for opportunities to maximise these new experiences for the entire ecosystem,” Mehdi said.

“Like we’ve done with the new Bing and Edge preview, we look forward to continuing to develop in the open driving experimentation, learning, and collaboration with publishers on the future of search.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic