Microsoft chose to forgo serving search ads in the latest update of its mobile Bing search app to test a better user experience, Mobile Marketing Daily has learned.
Ads will continue to serve in Bing for those using Safari, Firefox and Chrome, but for not in the latest version of the mobile app.
The update for iOS launched Nov. 18 -- and that's when Jonathan Kagan, senior director of search and biddable media at MARC USA Results:Digital, downloaded version 6.0 onto his iPhone. And much to his surprise, he discovered the app did not serve paid-search ads.
With an increase of mobile use, especially during the holidays, it seems a bit odd that Bing would make this choice, Kagan says.
"They're all in for search, yet they're removing search ads, though they don't have a lot of market share, which is clearly a head-scratcher," he says. "I don't know about Android, but on the iPhone app, they are purposely not running search ads."
A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on the change.
In April 2014, Microsoft introduced a classroom-specific version of its Bing search engine. Dubbed "Bing in the Classroom," this specialized version of search comes ad-free and with privacy controls for students.