Bing is starting to integrate chatbots into their search results
Restaurants can now take advantage of bot technology through Bing Places. Using the data from Bing Places, search users can ask questions that the chatbot can answer. These would align with some of the essential information you see online, like hours of operation, dietary accommodation, pet accommodations and child accommodations.
It can also answer questions about available amenities, such as high chairs, wi-fi and outdoor seating.
If the chatbot can’t answer these questions, they can bring that to the attention of the business owner, who can then add that information into Bing Places.
The information is pretty easy to integrate for business owners.
Upping their bottage
It’s very clear that this is the first step of a larger vision for Bing’s bot usage. Currently, restaurant owners can utilize this functionality on Bing Search, Skype and SMS. Bing plans to roll it out to Facebook messenger and Cortana in the very near future.
That’s in addition to the obvious expansion of the feature to other small businesses.
Since Bing is a part of Microsoft, it is also integrated into the Xbox and Cortana (the voice assistance on on Microsoft computers). Cortana surpassed 100 million monthly users last year, part of a larger trend that lead comscore to predict that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches.
Microsoft noted in an quarterly earnings report that “Xbox Live monthly active users reached a record 55 million – up 15 percent from the same quarter last year.” These may not be the largest platforms in the world, but their growth can’t be ignored.
Ahead of the curve
In addition to positioning itself well on the growth curve, Bing is pivoting its search product to better cater to the growing needs of voice search. Because voice search caters to natural human language, the queries tend to be more specific and in-depth than your average search query send through a keyboard.
Mobile voice-related searches are 3x more likely to be local-based than text. By rolling this product out through local search, Bing is positioning itself to take care of a phenomenon that will fundamentally change search in the years to come. Bing may have been easy to write off in the past, but it is proving to be a serious strategic contender in the future world of search.