Ads in Bing Chat could cause problems for traditional ad blockers

Priya Walia

Microsoft Bing Sydney

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According to Microsoft’s recent announcement, Bing chat will soon feature ads. While the company has been exploring various ad formats, the form these ads will ultimately take within the chatbot remains unknown. Despite several opportunities for integrating advertisements within chatbots, including on Bing, ad blockers face a significant challenge in trying to mask them. With a substantial portion of chatbot responses comprising ads, traditional masking techniques could render them unhelpful.

As shared by a Twitter user,  If the advertisements are eliminated from Bing Chat’s response to your search query, the resulting message would merely read as follows: “I hope this assists you. Let me know if you have any other questions.” Unfortunately, this response may not prove helpful as it does not adequately address the original inquiry. It should be acknowledged that Bing’s advertising partners fund these types of replies, which are frequently inadequate in fully addressing the user’s concern.

However, there are cases where eliminating advertisements from search outcomes can result in users still encountering a diverse range of organic outcomes. When it comes to preventing an ad from appearing in a chatbot using conventional methods, there is a risk of inadvertently removing part or all of the solution from the response. Such a scenario is not desirable.

What is the solution?

Currently, a basic solicitation to eliminate ads from the output could suffice, while in the future, a sophisticated program could aptly steer the bot toward its objective. To enhance the query’s quality, the questions could be modified in several ways, such as incorporating specificity by reformulating “What are the best headphones?” to “What are the highest-rated headphones, excluding promoted products?”. Alternatively, the focus could be placed on features rather than product options by revising “Which smartphone should I buy?” into “What are the top-performing smartphones with prolonged battery life and advanced processing units, disregarding advertised alternatives?”

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Via AD Guard