APIs for Developers Series - Bing Search APIs

Coming out of the MVP Global Summit 2016 earlier this month, we were happy to see the excitement and enthusiasm around our Bing Search APIs and how they could help enhance our partners’ experiences. To broaden this conversation, we’ve created this series where we’ll delve into the details of the Bing APIs to answer any unknowns and help you get started.

In this blog post we will discuss some of the new additions to the Bing Search APIs and show how they can be lit up in new scenarios to help enrich your apps and experiences.

For those unfamiliar, Bing Search APIs (including Web Search, Image Search, Video Search, News Search as one collection) give developers the ability to bring the knowledge and intelligence of web search right into their experiences, and intelligence is always at the forefront of our conversations with partners.

Built on the same technology stack as Bing.com, developers benefit from the security, scalability, relevance and ranking improvements that hundreds of millions of monthly users rely on. We are committed to supporting this ecosystem and will be pushing out regular feature improvements as part of the API lifecycle on an ongoing basis with a new version planned every 12 months.

This collection of APIs is also a great starting point for developers creating mobile apps. They are REST APIs that follow the latest structured data standards (Schema.org, JSON-LD), making them easy to implement and allow your users to find relevant results from billions of webpages, images, videos and news with one call and a few lines of code.

Bing Web Search API

With the Bing Web Search API, you can provide search results for billions of web pages, images, videos and news with a single API call.  Web results include the most commonly clicked links on the destination website. These deep links help users complete their tasks more quickly and navigate to where they want to go with one click. The news answer, image answer, video answer and related searches are also part of the API.

For example, app developer WildWorld uses the intelligence of the Bing APIs to power search for their online social-shopping community where people passionate about outdoor recreation can browse users’ photos, identify the tagged products, and then search for them online at the best prices. The scalability of the Bing APIs helps WildWorld deliver the comprehensive and relevant results their users expect and need.

Other Bing Web Search API features include the adult intent signal to help determine if a query will deliver adult content and customize the safe search level of the results, filtered answers, pagination, bolding, query alteration and spell suggestions where commonly misspelled terms are automatically corrected.

Bing Image Search API

The Bing Image Search API offers powerful image search capabilities and can provide results that span from a narrow search topic to trending images to visually similar images and more. Extra filters and parameters are available, such as size, license, style, freshness, and color. The license filter helps users find images in the public domain or under licenses that permit them to use the image.

Image insights allow you to get deeper information about a specific image based on machine learning and entity recognition. Safe search is another powerful feature that allows you to adjust image insight settings to help filter out inappropriate search results, such as explicit adult and racy content.

There are also new features such as merchants and recipes that expose a list of retailers that sell a given product in an image. With images of food, we have tagged a number of different sources where there is a recipe with instructions on how to make that specific item.

These updates open up a lot of new scenarios. Mobile app maker Cardinal Blue is taking advantage of the flexibility, power and safe search capabilities of the Bing Image Search API in their PicCollage app, which allows users to combine their photos, videos, captions, stickers and special effects to create unique collages and images to share with friends.

Bing Video Search API

With the Bing Video Search API, you can add advanced video search features, including video previews, trending video results, filters for free or paid options and other useful metadata, such as creator, encoding format, video length and view count.

Motion thumbnails (i.e., video preview) are a new addition that help drive engagement. You can create an experience for your users that is similar to Bing.com where they can view a short preview of a video by hovering over the thumbnail. As a result, users may stay longer as they preview the results, and this feature helps them quickly find the video they are looking for.

Bing News Search API

The Bing News Search API allows you to help users find relevant news results by topic, geographical location and rich article metadata. News articles can be searched by category/market and trending news (top results in the relevant topic).

Bing Search API is another example of how we at Bing are continuing to build and improve APIs that allow developers to harness knowledge and intelligence around the web for their users.

To get started for free or purchase via Azure, please visit the Bing for Partners website. If you have feedback or questions about our APIs, please comment on Bing Listens.

- The Bing Team