If letters and words just don’t do it for you anymore, and you’ve become a bit of an emoji afficionado over the years, then you might be interested in Bing’s latest announcement.
Starting this week, Microsoft’s search engine now let’s you make inquiries using the small image emoticons that were first popularized in Japan in the late 1990s. So if you fancy finding out more about, say, apples, all you do is select the emoji for ‘apple’ and hit the search button. What could be simpler? As for how you should go about looking up information on the Large Hadron Collider, don’t ask. We have no idea.
The new feature has been rolled out for Bing across all of its English-language markets, and works for both desktop and mobile sites.
The search engine now lets you make inquiries by mixing emoji with words, and you can also enter a combination of emoji only, perfect if typing out actual letters and words feels like too much effort:
While the new feature may look to many like a pointless gimmick, it could appeal to some smartphone owners who’ve become expert users of the symbols through constant use of messaging apps or similar software.
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Emoji amateurs could also find the new feature useful, as you can now easily look up the meaning of one you’ve never seen before simply by popping it in Bing.
The new feature also puts one over on Google (though presumably the Web giant’s developers aren’t quaking in their boots about it), while Yahoo’s search tool already offers emoji support.