Redmond, Washington–Bing has unveiled its latest search engine experiment. As Microsoft continues to strive for user experience improvement, it has introduced an “Inspired Content” feel by adding what it refers to as Bing Boards in place of the Bing Social Sidebar in select queries.
Under certain search perimeters, an inline slide show is included which resembles a Pinterest-like option to explore. In an ever-expanding attempt to compete with a Goggle-dominated web search, the software company is moving toward a more personal approach to capturing user interest.
The Big Boards Experiment
At this time, Bing is working with a small grouping of bloggers and featured contributors it believes exhibit a true passion for their respective areas of expertise. Currently, the experiment is centered around food and other lifestyle topics. The collection of images, videos, and links offered give a unique point of view to the user. The company is quick to point out it does not use companies or algorithms, but instead individual bloggers and social influencers considered leaders in their fields. A link is included for those wishing to be considered for contribution; sign-up is accepted at: http://www.bing.com/boards#
Program Manager for Bing Experiences, Chen Fang, is quoted as saying “As more people create and interact with Bing Boards over time, we’ll evaluate and determine how to broaden and evolve the offerings”. In the post announcing the inception of this new concept, Fang stated “This is the first of several upcoming social and community experiments.” He states, “If you see something new, play with it and see what happens – your interest might help make it a permanent part of Bing.”
User Experience is Key
The question remaining is whether enough users will be receptive to this type of format to ensure continued inclusion of this option. At present, the majority of people using the web spend a portion of their time each day on sites dedicated to their individual areas of personal interest. The company reasons that adding a human touch to their search will enhance their experience.
Bing also recently added other new features, which include a news carousel, improvements to its advertising center, and a sitemap plugin for webmasters.