Posted July 5, 2011 1:38 pm by with 1 comment

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The joy of reading digitally is that you can easily drill down deeper into any idea simply by cutting, pasting and searching as you go. Reading a review of a summer movie might have you searching for other films by the same director. An article about the health benefits of blueberries could trigger a search for recipes or even a local grower so you can pick you own.

On a computer, the mouse makes it easy to grab these phrases and go, but that same action is cumbersome on mobile devices. According to Bing, your average cut and paste search takes nine steps, but with their new app upgrade, you can do it in two (sort of).

The process is called Lasso, so named because you use your finger to draw a circle (lasso) the word or phrase you want to search. It’s activated by a lasso button in the upper Bing toolbar which means you have to be reading articles inside the Bing app in the first place. Once you lasso your term, you’re taken immediately to a search results page which can be easily closed, taking you right back to the article that started it all.

Lasso is a small change that should make a big difference. It uses the natural movements of an iPad user, to make searching faster and easier and that’s great news for every marketer who advertises a product or service online. It also makes a good point about the nature of mobile devices. Simply pushing online content on to a tablet or smartphone isn’t enough. Mobile content needs to be designed with the user in mind. We have to stop thinking of them as miniature versions of a desktop computer and see them as entirely new devices with a wide range of possibilities.

If you have Bing for the iPad, we’d like to hear what you think about Lasso.

  • One more instance of brands getting more and more mobile friendly. Bing took a common frustration for mobile users and solved it with a simple tool. I think it’s a pretty smart idea on their part.