Forget getting lost in Wikipedia entry, after entry, after entry. Bing has added a feature that helps news readers better understand headlines in order to discover new context within breaking news and jump between stories. The update, only available on Bing for mobile, adheres "smart labels" to news, Microsoft announced in a blog post Thursday.
News stories found in Bing News will sometimes include these so-called "smart labels" in the lower-right corner of the headline. These words are surfaced by an algorithm scanning the article and determining what key words best grasps the topic. Clicking on that label will then direct users to other recent and related stories.
For example, as illustrated in the blog announcement, a story headlined "Putin takes jab at US, NATO during vast Victory Day parade" by Fox News has the label "Putin." Under the "Putin" category, there's an article by Yahoo News with the tag "gas pipeline." Clicking that brings up three more stories, including one by International Business Times titled "Russia And Turkey Agree To Route For New Turkish Stream Pipeline Through Black Sea" and has a "Turkish Stream" label.
"We’re making it easier to connect the dots between news stories so you get the bigger picture," Microsoft's Bing team wrote on the blog "We’re offering a way to quickly understand how individual news articles relate to a bigger picture just by skimming headlines across different news topics."
Readers could keep going down this endless stream of finding more context until they so choose to click on a story and read beyond the headline. But as the Bing team reported, about two-thirds of smartphone users just scan headlines and an estimated 41 percent read full articles. The habit of reading news via smartphone -- and just headlines -- inspired the team to make the update and keep it mobile-only, for now.
In related news, this update follows other pushes by the Bing team to make the news-reading and discovery experience better within the search engine. Bing competes for market share in search mostly with Google. One out of five desktop searches in the United States powered by Bing, according to comScore data. In June, Bing introduced trending topics that pulls both images and headlines to the top of the search page. That update also added galleries -- where readers could simply see the news based off of what images media outlets chose to associate.