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Bing Gets Visual

By - September 14, 2009


Bing is announcing new visual search features today. The post outlining it all is not yet up, but here are details and links from an email sent to me earlier:

Link to the blog post, not yet up, but soon they promise.

Link to the announcement on TC50 stage.

Text from the email, edited for clarity:

On Monday, Microsoft will launch a new beta feature in Bing, it’s new decision engine, called Visual Search that is a new, easy way to search by clicking instead of typing. Visual Search helps you search information visually, and helps you refine a query when a picture makes it easier to sift through all the online information. Look for that movie you wanted to see, find the best new purse, or figure out which digital camera is right for you using an engaging visual experience without having to sort through page after page of links. People can try the beta of Visual Search by going to

· Visual Search categories that will be available on Monday are outlined below. This list will continue to grow and expand.

· Structured Content and images for Visual Search are provided by a number of sources, including MSN.

· The seamless transitions between selections are achieved through the integration of Silverlight technology

Visual Search Galleries:


100 heroes and villains, Billboard’s past albums, Billboard’s past songs, Film legends, Greatest movies, Movies in theaters

Popular books, Popular celebrities, Popular DVDs, Popular TV shows, Pulitzer winning fiction, Top albums, Top songs

Famous People

FBI’s most wanted, Popular celebrities, US politicians, US presidents, US vice presidents, World leaders


Dog breeds, Periodic table, Travel destinations, US politicians, US presidents, US states, US vice presidents, World leaders, Yoga poses


Cell phones, Digital cameras, Handbags, HDTVs, New cars, Popular books, Popular DVDs, Portable GPS, Pulitzer winning fiction, Top albums, Top iPhone apps


MLB players, MLB teams, NASCAR drivers, NBA players, NBA teams, NFL players, NFL teams, NHL players, NHL teams, UFC fighters

dog breeds bing.png

Update: I played with the Dog Breeds visual search, and found it pretty cool. It’s not as deep as I would like – the promise is that you don’t have to go out onto the web, and I found myself back into the “back and forth” button mode too soon, but the visual search is really cool to start with.

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4 thoughts on “Bing Gets Visual

  1. This will be a cool format for finding what you need and on the net faster and is a more interesting way to search. I like the concept. I just want to see how it interacts with competing sites and see what kinds of results it pulls after selecting the pic you’re looking for. Angular Cheilitis

  2. John: I’m intrigued about the potential of visual search in travel and I wrote on my blog about its possible utility in hotel search for Bing Travel. Travel Destinations already is up and running under the Reference category. It is not that impressive. But, I am hopeful that Bing Travel will go to town with hotels, for instance. I guess cruise would be another possibility, but cruise planning and booking is so complex already and so little is done online that I am skeptical that Bing will focus on cruise. So, I am curious where you think visual search has fallen short in the past, and what do you think Bing has to do to get it going?

  3. media says:

    but cruise planning and booking is so complex already and so little is done online that I am skeptical that Bing will focus on cruise.

  4. Jasper says:


    I agree, another feature of Bing that I like is the pop up summary box when pointed on the the result.