Friday, October 23, 2015

Microsoft's Bing now supports emoji

Microsoft's search engine Bing announced support for emoji, enabling users to type in the special characters into mobile or desktop search and receive results based on their meaning.

Bing says the feature, which will be available in English markets, is a way for users to "search the same way you communicate every day."

The search engine will offer up definitions for some of the more puzzling emoji. It can even combine different emoji, or words and emoji to provide search results.

Vanity Fair spoke with Craig Beilinson, Microsoft’s director of marketing communications, who explained why the company wanted Bing to offer support for the ubiquitous emoticons.

“Just like I would text my friends if they wanted to go out for sushi, now I can search Bing using the emoji on my phone instead of typing ‘sushi’ and still find a great place to eat,” he said.

Whether it’s actually any faster than just typing the words “sushi restaurants nearby” depends on how well you know your emoji keyboard, usually available on mobile. 

To try it out on your desktop computer, make sure you're using the right browser. Chrome, for example, doesn't recognize emoji, but Apple's Safari does. We've used Safari to perform the search seen in the image above.

Bing's biggest competitor, Google, currently does not offer emoji search.

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