Bing Expands Its ‘Snapshots’ Feature

Posted on March 29, 2013

Bing Expands Its ‘Snapshots’ Feature
A spokesperson for Bing has announced that its “Snapshot” feature has been expanded to include a greater amount of information. The Snapshot feature, launched back in June of 2011, provides users with direct answers to search queries, displaying them in the middle column of the search results page. Through this feature, users can get immediate answers on things like movie synopses, or the address of a business, without having to navigate away to another page.

When it was first launched, the feature covered only restaurants, movies, and hotels, but following today’s update it will now cover people, places, and the most commonly searched for things on Bing.

Powering all this is a technology named “Satori”, which means “understanding” in Japanese. Developed by engineers at Bing, its purpose is to “develop deep understanding of the world around us not only as a collection of entities (people, places and things) but also the relationships between those entities.”

According to a spokesperson, “For Bing, search is about more than blue links, it’s also about understanding the entities – people, places, things – around us and the relationship between them. With people and places being two of the most common searches on Bing, we want to ensure that whether you’re looking for the details on your new coworker, the official Facebook page of your favorite celeb, or who won best actress in 2010, Bing gives you the answers you’re looking for quickly and in one place.”

When searching for people, Snapshot will display relevant facts based on publicly available information, such as their social media accounts, official websites, and Wikipedia entries. This makes it much easier to find relevant information on people such as celebrities or famous professionals.

For places, the information Snapshot displays differs depending on the type of place being searched, i.e city, country, or landmark. For example, when searching for a city, Snapshot will display an overview of the city, statistics such as population, a list of famous attractions (if any), and cities that other people have searched for when searching for this city.

The changes are already live, and are available to all users in the US.