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Is Emoji the Future of Search? Bing Seems to Think So

Bing loves emoji. For almost a year, you have been able to exclusively search with emoji on Bing. Most recently, Bing has taken their emoji support one step further with an in-house emoji keyboard (video at bottom of the article).

While it is considered by some to be Bing’s gimmicky attempt to compete with Google Search, it may be a smart move to attract a younger generation, according to Andrew LaForge. “There’s this idea that visual content is universal and transcends language; it’s like, a picture is worth a thousand words,” Rosenthal said to SearchEngineWatch. One commenter believes emojis “are a fun little first step” towards searching with our thoughts instead of our words.

While we certainly cannot predict the demise of text search in favor of smiley faces, a few of us at Logical Position decided to conduct a few emoji searches of our own. Here are the results:

HOT DOG TRUCK

hotdogtruck2

Our first attempt to search with emoji gave us some interesting results. While the query “Hot Dog Truck” led to our intended result, the emoji search gave us Dalmatians by fire trucks. The emoji search results also lacked the image carousel. But although our intent was not as clearly conveyed using emoji, we are not disappointed with pictures of cute dogs riding fire trucks.

CAMPING AND COFFEE

hotdogtruck

Courtesy of our Graphic Designer Jaclyn Rainville, we used camping and coffee emojis and came away satisfied with the results, which included the five best camping coffee makers, a coffee lover’s guide to camping coffee, and stylish camping coffee products.

BIKE VS. BIKE

bikinghard

We decided to put Bing through its paces. We put two different versions of the bike emoji in search. Bing handled the contextual differences between the two quite well. With the mountain bike emoji scenery, Bing understood we were looking for information on mountain bikes. With the regular bike, we got completely different results that focused on the sport of biking in general.

SURF FISHING

surf-fishing-emoji

It turns out that surf fishing is the sport of catching fish from the shore of an ocean. Without Bing’s emoji support, we wouldn’t have learned something new today.

With these results, can we safely determine that Bing can actually speak emoji? Results are hit or miss, but we also are not emoji pros. At the very least, if there is an emoji you want to use but are unsure of its meaning, Bing will have no problem telling you.

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