Bing Image Widget

Posted on 8/23/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (6)

Microsoft's Bing has created the Bing Image Widget making It possible for any Bing user to imbed, free of charge, on their web site or blog any images found in a Bing Images search.

Here’s how it works. If you are writing about volcanos you copy and paste this code into your web page where you want pictures of volcanos to appear and you get the spread of pictures below.
    <div class="bingwidget" data-type="images" data-query="Volcanos" data-layout="collage" data-height="281px" data-width="500px" data-color="match" data-safesearch="moderate" data-version="0.9" data-style="border:none;"></div>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="//" async></script>

Now suppose you are writing about Miley Cyrus, or New York or Tigers. Simply replace the “Volcanos” in quotes and with the word or words you want like “Miley Cyrus” and you get a display of those pictures.

If you want to change the size of the image being displayed on the page you simply change the data-height and width-with like this for New York. Also note that you can mouse over any of the images shown and see the web site they came from. Click on the link and you will be taken to that web site. Of course, in most cases that web site was not the originator of the image. They got it from somewhere else and it is usually impossible to find the image creators name.

Or you can get a slideshow by changing the data-layout="collage" to "slideshow". This time I'll search for "tigers". The default for the slideshow is to show 10 images. Over time these images will change as the Bing search finds new images it wants to show at the top of the search return.

It is also possible to just show a single image by adding data count ="1" after the data-layout="slideshow". This time I'll pick Tom Hanks. It would be nice if you could do this in the "collage" view, but that doesn't seem to work. The other thing that seems to impossible (at least at this stage) is to pick the particular image you want to imbed. The blogger, or whoever might uses this service gets the first one, or ones that come up in the Bing search and must live with that result even if they find something much further down the line in the search return order that they would prefer to use.

It also seems that this page loads much slower than the other pages on my site. Maybe this is because I have used so many links and it might not be so bad if I only used one or two.

Does Anyone Need To Pay For Images Anymore?

Anyone who uses this service needs to read the Bing Image Widget Terms of Service. This document including the links to the applicable Microsoft Service Agreement and the Bing Image Widget Documentation runs a total of 33 pages and 23,558 words. I have not read the full document and in any event I would probably need a lawyer to interpret it for me.

Under Restrictions On Use the document does say, "(i) use the Services to infringe upon the copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights of anyone;"  I have no idea how I tell who the copyright holder is of any given image and I suspect that Microsoft has no idea either.

The courts have decided that displaying the search results (including images) for the education and benefit of the public is fair use. Now it seems that these displays can be made available to any end user for re-publication and re-distribution for non-commercial or commercial purposes. 

Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


  • Larry Minden Posted Aug 25, 2014
    Is this a typo or do the TOU actually say: "(i) use the Services to infringe upon the copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights of anyone;"

  • Bill Bachmann Posted Aug 25, 2014
    Yes, Jim. Can you find out what the Hell that is supposed to mean? I will sue anyone that I find, I don't care if Bing thinks it is OK. They can not override my Copyright and I will challenge them. Perhaps I should take this to court now... what do you think, Jim? I have a strong reputation and am well-known. Maybe I should bite the bullet and challenge them and Microsoft right now? Please comment, Jim. Perhaps I could get ASMP and PPA to also back the case!

  • Paul Melcher Posted Aug 26, 2014
    Great Catch Jim. You should make this article free and public so people can share it to their trade organisations ( PACA, ASMP, CEPIC, BAPLA,...). Immediate action needs to needs to be taken before others like Google and Yahoo follow path.

  • Jesse Hughes Posted Aug 26, 2014
    "(i) use the Services to infringe upon the copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights of anyone;" is actually listed as a restriction in their terms of use - meaning you're not allowed to infringe, but as Jim mentions, neither the average user nor microsoft will spend time/effort/money to solve that problem

  • Jim Pickerell Posted Aug 26, 2014
    As Jesse said that is a Restriction On Use, so Microsoft has covered itself legally, but no one will ever read this part of the TOU. If the consumer is ever going to become aware of copyright there must be notices high up in bold on the search page, not buried in the TOU.

  • Sylvie Fodor Posted Aug 28, 2014
    Hi Jim, do you know how long this widget has been around?

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