Bing Integrates Facebook in Social Search

Posted on Oct 18th 2010

Microsoft and Facebook recently announced a new partnership that brings “Like” data and profile search to Bing.

This collaboration is meant to create a more personalised search results, by essentially serving everyone a different search experience, based on the Likes of their Facebook friends.

If you're logged in to your Facebook account when you search, Bing will add a "Liked By Your Friends" module to the search results. Of course, it depends on what you're searching for, but you will most likely see stories that your friends Liked -- sometimes the module will be located at the top, sometimes the bottom, sometimes not at all -- ranked based on relevance.

The Bing and Facebook teams shared a few examples of how that might be useful during Wednesday’s press event: surfacing restaurants that your friends like, pulling in movie likes from IMDB or articles that have been shared about a car you might be researching. With the like button now being used by more than two million sites and Facebook passing 500 million members, there’s now enough scale to make that type of data surface on a regular basis in search.

Take note that Bing’s organic search results are currently not changing based on your Facebook data. Instead, Bing is adding a module on the search page that shows results that your friends might like for the query.

Search engine experts say that this partnership marks a big leap forward in social search and also represents a new advantage for Bing in its quest to take market share from Google.

At face value, Facebook integration certainly seems to make Bing search better in some instances. People would be more inclined to click on a link in search results if one of their friends had liked it. So when users are searching for resorts on the Gold Coast, they’re more likely going to book in a place that their friends Liked.  Now, more than ever, this new partnership pushes resorts to have a Facebook presence in order to appear in the social search module of Bing.

Question now is: will Facebook integration make you more likely to use Bing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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