Bing Is Now Emoji Search Compatible
Emojis are inescapable if you’re on any mobile device, and they’re being increasingly used to express any quick thought or idea in a tiny picture form. Bing has taken note of what it calls a shorthand language used by billions around the world, and has just announced that it will be supporting these characters. Users can now learn the meanings of different emoji characters by adding them to search, or use them alone or in combination with words to perform searches.
With examples of Japanese food being used, Figure 1 above shows how emojis bring up very specific search results based on the emoji’s semantic meaning. Emojis of Japanese delicacies, like Dango and Narutomaki, would bring up related search results—the top result always being their Wikipedia entry. With currently over 722 different emojis, there is bound to be confusion over what some of them mean. Fortunately, Bing isn’t confused, and can help users figure out what some of them mean.
Bing is also allowing for both emojis and text queries to be combined in searches. As seen in Figure 2 above, combining an emoji of China’s flag with the phrase “capital city” gives “Beijing” as the top result. Similar emoji-and-phrase combinations can be used to search for provincial capitals in China. Bing’s emoji search is rather sophisticated, and as Figure 2 demonstrates, two emojis can be combined to pull up relevant results. Figure 3 below demonstrates the use of the Konami Code in Bing.
While it can be dismissed as a novelty, the wide use of emojis today, especially among the younger generation, could certainly justify making them compatible with search engines. It should also be noted that with voice search already gaining plenty of ground, it’s clear that people have always sought for quick ways to do searches online for things that they need.
With emojis working as visual representations of queries, it would greatly speed up the search process. For instance, combining airplane and calendar emojis with key phrases could inform users of particular flight schedules or potential delays.
The feature is currently available in all English markets. No word yet if it will come to other language markets.
Is including emojis in search queries a good idea? Do you see yourself making use of them? Let us know your opinions.
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