Microsoft Bing hits 100 million active users in bid to grab share from Google
Microsoft’s Bing search engine has passed the 100 million daily active users milestone just weeks after the software maker launched its AI-powered Bing Chat feature. Bing has been steadily growing in recent years, but it appears the new Bing Chat feature is helping Microsoft grow usage with people that have never touched Bing before.
Google has more than 1 billion daily active users, so that puts Microsoft’s 100 million milestone in perspective as it seeks to gain market share.
“We are pleased to share that after a number of years of steady progress, and with a little bit of a boost from the million plus new Bing preview users, we have crossed 100 million daily active users of Bing,” says Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s head of consumer marketing, in a blog post.
Microsoft hasn’t revealed Bing daily active user counts before its Bing Chat addition, but the preview has certainly put Microsoft’s search engine in the spotlight recently. Microsoft is now seeing that around a third of Bing Chat testers are new to Bing. “Roughly one third of daily preview users are using Chat daily,” says Mehdi. “We’re seeing on average, roughly three chats per session with more than 45 million total chats since the preview began.”
Bing Chat isn’t the only reason for increased usage of Microsoft’s search engine. Microsoft Edge has also helped contribute to Bing usage, as Microsoft aggressively pushes its search engine defaults with Edge updates, Windows updates, and even prompts to stop people downloading Google Chrome. “We expect new capabilities, like having Bing search and create in the Edge sidebar, will bolster further growth,” says Mehdi.
It’s now been a month since the Bing chatbot launched. Microsoft recently added a toggle for different personality tones designed to counter the wild outbursts many saw with the Bing AI chatbot. Microsoft also added some restrictions after rude responses were spotted, and the company has been gradually loosening those restrictions over the past week.
Microsoft’s latest stats on Bing Chat usage come weeks after the company laid out its plans to grow its revenues in a digital ad market worth around $500 billion. “For every 1 point of share gain in the search advertising market, it’s a $2 billion revenue opportunity for our advertising business,” said Philippe Ockenden, Microsoft’s CVP of finance, on a call with analysts last month.
Microsoft has already grown its advertising business to $18 billion in revenue over the past 12 months, compared to $10 billion in the previous fiscal year. Much of that is thanks to Bing, but Microsoft still has a long way to go to come close to the more than $200 billion that Google generated from advertising in 2022.
But for Microsoft it’s all an opportunity to grow usage and grab market share from Google. “We are fully aware we remain a small, low, single digit share player,” says Mehdi. “That said, it feels good to be at the dance!” That’s probably the same dance that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referred to last month in an interview with The Verge. “Google is the 800-pound gorilla in search,” said Nadella. “I want people to know that we made them dance.”