Bing Snapshots First to Bring Advanced In-App Search to Users

Bing has extended its knowledge and action graph to developers through Bing Snapshots, a new API aimed at enhancing their apps with rich data. The feature aims to keeps its searches from navigating outside of Microsoft territory.

The move echoes a similar one announced by Google earlier this year with the roll out of Google Now on Tap, a feature designed to make everything from text messages to Instagram posts searchable, within apps. Though Google announced this enhancement at its I/O Developer Conference back in May, Bing was first to actually make such a feature available to consumers.

With Bing Snapshots, developers will be able to incorporate all of the search engine’s information into their apps, allowing users to perform searches in context without navigating outside. For example, a friend could mention a restaurant on Facebook Messenger. When you long-press the Home button, Bing will analyze the contents of the screen and bring up a snapshot of a restaurant, with actionable information, such as the restaurant’s official website and Yelp reviews, as well Uber.

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“While we are excited that these snapshots enhance applications with rich knowledge and actions, we believe this is just the start,” wrote Gurpreet Pall, director of program management for Bing for Partners, in a blog post earlier today. “By working with developers to bring Bing‘s rich data and actions directly into their applications or services, we can address very real needs for developers to join hands and delight users.”

Beyond making sure Snapshots got a headstart over Google Now on Tap, Bing is also able to stand out by becoming the first search engine to make its knowledge graph available to developers. That will happen this fall, though some APIs are already available on the company’s online developer center. Bing is currently giving potential users sneak peeks on its Android app.

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