Microsoft is taking Collections in a rather Pinterest-like direction.
A new Microsoft Edge update promises several new organization features, an inspiration feed, and the ability to directly follow creators.
In fact, Collections is getting the lion’s share of enhancements in the update. For those unaware, Collections allows you to pull together web pages, pictures, or videos from across the internet and stuff them into folders. The inspiration feed will show you tangentially related ideas from other websites. For example, you might have a series of food recipes saved. The new feed will show you other recipes to inspire you.
Making collecting easier
The announcement notes that the update will be released soon, but it appears some features are already live.
Alongside the inspiration feed, users will be able to directly save images and videos to Collections by hovering over them and clicking the add button. It appears this feature only works on Bing search results. We tried saving YouTube videos, but there was no option.
Bing’s Visual Search is also expanding in Microsoft Edge to work on other websites. The feature allows users to search via images rather than text. Hovering over an image will make a Visual Search icon appear. Selecting the icon begins the search. At this time, the feature seems to only work on certain pages. We discovered the Visual Search icon on images from Google’s and Microsoft’s official blogs and even TechRadar. So, support is rather sporadic.
And the last update lets users follow content creators from some video-sharing websites. The list includes YouTube, TikTok, and the Chinese website Billibilli. A new “Follow” button will appear at the top of the browser that you can click on. The list of creators you follow will appear next to Collections as a new menu. From there, you’ll get a feed of the creator’s latest videos.
Aside from the few features that worked, the inspiration feed didn't appear nor did the new Follow button. It appears that the updates are rolling out in pieces. We asked Microsoft if they could tell us when the Collections transformation will fully launch and for the complete list of supported websites. We'll update this post with its response.
Analysis: Still losing ground
While these sound like welcome changes, the question remains: Will it be enough to boost Edge’s popularity? Recent numbers from Statcounter show the browser is losing users. It’s not clear why, but Microsoft burying Internet Explorer and forcing people to use the browser probably didn’t help. And with browsers like Firefox boosting their security by preventing websites from tracking users, people may understandably jump ship.
If you’re thinking of ditching Edge, TechRadar recently updated its best web browsers list.