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Bing Developer blog

October
11

Instant Answers and White Pages Discontinued

Effective December 8, 2011, we will discontinue support for both the Instant Answers source type and for Phonebook Residential White Pages results via the Bing API version 2.0.  For those of you using these source types with the Bing API, this means you will no longer receive results for Instant Answers or for Phonebook White Pages (Residential) results.

We encourage you to continue using the many other source types available via the Bing API such as web, images, video, news, and more.  For more information on using the API, a number of resources can be found here.  This includes implementation instructions, code examples, links to forums and other helpful documentation. We hope that these resources will assist you in the transition.

Our team regularly evaluates our API to make sure we’re focusing on the right areas for our partners. Decommissioning source types allows us to dedicate more resources to supporting other parts of the API.

As always, thanks for your partnership, and we hope you continue to find the Bing API valuable in powering your products.

Comments

  • I am utterly confused by this. The following comment may appear personal, but it isn't.  I'm talking to Microsoft as a whole here, and hoping that the message can get through.

    I'm sure quite a few developers believe that the InstantAnswers source type is just the greatest thing in the world.  I myself was going to build an Instant Answer app for Windows Phone 7 that would be awesome.   Please consider NOT killing the BEST/MOST INNOVATIVE feature of the Bing API.

    Failing that, can you answer whether the instant answers output will continue to be available on normal searches on Bing, even though the API may be gone?  

    If so, I don't know why killing off the API saves anything.  The queries still have to work for the web page output to be generated.

    Again, the Instant Answers functionality was a thing that I have recommended Bing for to users who are considering a move from Goggle.   DON'T KILL IT!

    From now on, when Microsoft decides to kill something like this, the blog post mentioning it should do a few things:

    o First, apologize and describe why Microsoft thinks that such functionality is problematic or not popular enough to keep, and ask for input from developers, DON'T JUST TELL US IT IS DEAD.   That's not polite or courteous or businesslike.

    o Second, give us some options.  If we can get the same service through a partner, mention them by name.   If Microsoft has something close to the discontinued serivce, mention IT by name.

    I hope I actually can receive an answer to this comment.  If receipt of something is not possible through this mechanism, at least recommend another.

    -thanks

    -e

  • Ericleigh007:

    Thanks for your feedback and we definitely hear your concerns. To clarify the situation: Instant Answers will absolutely remain an integral part of the user experience on Bing.com. We agree that they are an important part of search innovation for us.

    We decided to decommission the Instant Answers API because of low usage relative to other source types. We understand this could be an unwelcome change; however, to make sure that we’re serving the largest set of API developers to the best of our ability, we sometimes have to prioritize features based on usage. Decommissioning less-used source types frees up time for our team to develop new features and refine existing ones with higher usage.

    We’re open to your feedback, and we hope you can understand our perspective as well.

  • why microsoft doesnot creat short link website

    www.des-stars.net

  • Actually i'm quite shocked about these news. InstantAnswers is a great resource for developers. It is true that it is not widely used but only because people don't know about it (not 1 of my developer friends knew about this resource at all).

    I know I might be wasting my time here, but PLEASE do not take this down.

  • Thank you for the update on instant answers.

  • This is awful news.  I have an app that relies in instant answers and now it looks like it will be killed.  I cannot find a suitable replacement data source so I guess I will have plenty of customers who will be ticked off Me and at Bing.  Guess I will have to stick to Google for all my future app's data needs- at least they have stable API's.

  • This is indeed bad news. I was developing a flight tracker with the InstantAnswer API, now i have to search for other providers.

  • i already have a wp7 flight tracker app that has been in the marketplace for several months and is now broken because of this.  unfortunately i didn't find this blog post until tonight while i was stubmling around the (mostly useless) bing developer site.  what really sucks (for me and microsoft) is that this app is currently being featured in a MS-sponsored 1mm impression ad campaign running on msn sites. by the time i can find a replacement data source (if i can find one), update my app, and get the update submitted and approved, the ad campaign will be over and anybody that did download the app because of the campaign will be left with the impression that the app is broken.  thanks.

  • .. I was wondering why my app wasn't working as intended. Took me a while to land in this post.

    Well, i guess theres nothing to do, even if i told you to bring it back :(

  • This makes the transition a little confusing for a beginner who tries on something that is bing.

  • I think you should treat your developers better.  

    You need to implement a sensible support policy for the APIs, especially for something as important as source types.  When you add one, start it off as a "beta" version.  People will know to develop at their own risk.  If it never builds enough traffic, you would then be justified in killing it on relatively short (60-day) notice.  

    Once you take it out of beta, agree to give 6-12 months notice before killing it so people have time to develop alternatives.  

    Also, users of the API should given notice directly by email, more than once, if you decide to kill it.  You know what access keys are using it and have the associated emails.  Having to monitor a blog for vital information like this is ridiculous.

  • No wonder my app stopped working. :(

    I had a twitter account @TravelerBot that allowed you to get Flight Status by DM'ing "FS <flight number>". This would then feed into the Bing API for Instant Answers.

    Is there going to be another option available for Flight Status Searches?

  • If anyone comes up with an alternative for the FlightStatus Instant Answer tracker, can you please post it here? Our developers spent "substantial" time and effort to get that integrated - maybe 120 hours....

  • Is the Bing API 2.0 still working?

  • thnks for the information