Taking Search to the Next level : Bing Search Just Got Social

Did you try out the Bing Search Engine lately??? Microsoft is trying to deeply integrate FaceBook into it’s Bing search experience in an attempt to capture the huge chunk of the market share currently held by Google in the world of search engines. So what does a social networking site and a search engine have in common to offer to you…one might think. Read along to find more about this unique update of Bing released by Microsoft today which can turn out to be an exploding technological advancement.

As you can observe in the attached picture, with the new update for Bing, there is a sidebar at the right which is asking you to Sign In To FaceBook and Ask Friends to Get Ideas.

Once you logon to your FaceBook account, the search engine will try to find in your friend’s list if anyone has any insights into your search criteria. Suppose you search for “Restaurants in Washington DC” and you have couple of friends who had posted pictures of their favorite DC restaurants or some who had actually checked-in to a restaurant, all those will be listed in that sidebar. Isnt that cool? You can get a visual from the picture below where I searched for “Restaurants in Baltimore” and in my friend’s list there were some who had lived in Baltimore or liked a restaurant there and immediately came up on my search list. All these are listed under the “Friends Who Might Know” section. In the “People Who Know” section of the sidebar, it lists out people who have listed “public” posts regarding the search topic.

 

 

Adding social networking to the search result has become like adding a source of reliability to the topic being researched by the users. Before, when we searched something, it wasnt very clear as to which source is reliable, but now with our own friends recommending and mentioning about the topic, it is far easy to pick and choose what we want exactly.

Not to be left behind, Google has even integrated it’s search engine with it’s own Google+, but when numbers are compared (170million G+users vs 900mil FB users), it becomes a pale statistic.

If you were following the regular updates made by Bing in these recent days, you might actually related to why it was busy cleaning up it’s real-estate on the search results page to this major change in strategy. Now, it believes to rock the internet world with it’s famous “3-column-design”. The major chunk of the screen is occupied on the left by the regular search results. The center column is what it calls “Snapshot” where it allows users to actually take action on their search results. Like for eg, if the search was for the “Restaurants”, the snapshot column would display avenues where you can book a table at a restaurant or maybe read some reviews of the restaurant.

Microsoft strongly believes that it is the right column which will bring a revolution to how the search engines will start integrating search results with social networking. In addition to the 2 sections mentioned above in the right sidebar or what we can call the FaceBook column, Bing also has made it possible to interact to those friends listed directly from the search page itself. You can click on a line item and ask a question or post on their walls or send a message.

By allowing such conversations between friends regarding the search topic, MS believes that this might become viral and lead to a lot more options and diversifies the search results based on opinions of friends. It is also expected that Bing will have more regular updates over the summer this year to add more features to their search engine. Bing is today claiming to have 17% share of the US search market while Google is still going strong at 60% of the market share.

Over To You

What do you think of this new cool feature made possible by Microsoft? Do you think you will ever refer to your friend’s feedback on what you are searching? Does it add value and credibility to your result set? I am sure each one of us might think differently about this and I would love to hear from you on your thoughts. Do share in the form of comments below. Thanks for reading.

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