Bing has a new way of showing you what’s playing in your local theater, a “carousel” format that lets you browse what’s playing. If you think you’ve seen this before, you have. It’s how Google already does it.
A search for something like “movie times” will display movies playing near your location in a band — what’s commonly called a “carousel” — at the top of Bing’s results:
It’s exactly how things have already worked at Google, as you can see for this “movie times” search:
Unlike with Google’s carousel, you can’t further refine the results into genres at Bing. Google offers a drop-down for this in the top right-hand corner of its carousel.
Selecting a particular movie from either Bing or Google brings up more details about the film as well as showing times. Here’s what happened when I clicked on “Gone Girl” from the carousel at Bing:
Personally, I like the Google implementation a bit better than Bing, because you get three days worth of showtimes on little tabs, as opposed to only the current day.
The carousel format in both places allows you to easily get information for a variety of movies without having to leave the search page. In the examples above, I selected Gone Girl from the carousel. If I pick another movie, such as Annabelle, the results change to reflect that movie.
As for the carousel name, that comes from the fact that you can use an arrow option on the right of both carousels to scroll through more movies than initially displayed — and if you do, an arrow on the left appears to let you go back.
If you search for a particular movie, both Bing and Google continue to give you times for just that movie but without a carousel display — which makes sense, because you’ve asked only about a specific film. Here’s how it is at Bing:
And here’s Google (which again has tabs for showtimes for each of three days):
While Bing is mimicking Google’s move here, there have been times that Google has copied Bing. The main takeaway is that the carousel format seems to work; otherwise, Bing wasn’t likely to follow Google’s lead.
I know when Google first came out with the movie carousel, I hated it. But as with so many user interface changes, after getting used to it, now I like it.
Bing shared the news of its new carousel here. It’s only offered in the US. With both Bing and Google, you can trigger it by searching for words like:
Enjoy the films! Remember, no spoilers.
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