Microsoft tests Bing Boards, a visual collection of user-curated content

Microsoft has introduced its latest Bing search feature in testing called Bing Boards.

In a nutshell, Microsoft realised most people have search habits such as spending daily time on websites that cater to a special interest, such as politics or pop culture, and now it wants to provide a way for them to create their own specialised search content on Bing.

"We’re trying something new at Bing, to see what happens when we bring boutique content to the first page of search results," Bing explained. "Our goal is to inspire and delight you -and connect you with creative people who share your passions and interests."

Introducing Bing Boards on Friday, Microsoft called them a "visual collections of images, videos and links that tell a story from a unique point of view," but people create them based on blogged or discussed topics they like. No companies or algorithms involved. Moreover - it's just a minor test. Only a limited number of people can try or will even notice over the next few months.

The boards, which a small group of bloggers, experts and social butterflies currently curate, will complement Bing search results by appearing in the middle column. Bing is working with the group to evolve Boards, but it will also evaluate and determine how to "broaden and evolve" the experience as more people create and interact with Boards.

To get started with Bing Boards, Microsoft has set up a Bing Explorer page that allows web surfers to request an invitation. The company also implemented a Boards example on Bing. Just search “photo booth backdrop” to see a board created by Chelsea Costa of Lovely Indeed.

The new Boards feature is the first of several upcoming social and community experiments. Microsoft recommends users frequently play with features like Boards, because it will have a higher chance at becoming a permanent part of Bing Search.

Read: Microsoft's Bing Desktop adds inline search, Facebook notifications and more

Today's new search feature follows a new version of Bing Desktop that released this month with inline search, real-time weather updates and Facebook notifications. Microsoft said more than 10 million users worldwide had installed Bing Desktop, an app that adds the Bing homepage to PC desktops, and those same users can now update to get the new features.