With Google and Apple renewing focus on News, Microsoft is now joining the bandwagon as the company today announced Bing Spotlight, a new feature for Bing that provides an overview of stories and news topics right within the search results page.
Spotlight helps bring to users major news stories and headlines, a rundown of how they have developed over time and relevant social media posts. The feature collates news from diverse sources from around the web and presents a tailored round-up of the entire story, helping people decide what aspect they would like to read further into.
To enable this functionality, Bing monitors huge amounts of queries and news articles, identifying stories that are evolving over time. The company states that it factors in various signals such as “queries and browser logs, and document signals from publishers such as how many publishers cover a story, their angles, and how prominently they feature the story on their site“. The company adds that for controversial topics, in the Perspectives module, it shows different viewpoints from high-quality sources and also labels opinion and commentary accurately. In the back end, Bing leverages its deep learning algorithms and web graphs of a huge list of websites to identify top sources for national news, based on category, query, or article.
The feature is slightly similar to the “Full Coverage” feature offered in Google News. However, the functionality is neat for those who use Bing and look for collated information on various topics to gain a better perspective of the topics they care about.
Spotlight is available on Bing desktop and mobile web, and is currently limited only to the US. To try out the new experience, you can search for major topics on Bing.com, such as “self-driving cars”, or find the latest spotlights on the Bing.com homepage carousel.