Bing Adds Facebook Social Features

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Microsoft’s search site Bing just got a whole lot more social with the addition of a bunch of new Facebooky features so you can “bring the Friend Effect to search” (Bing’s phrase, not mine).

What’s the Friend Effect? According to Bing, it’s the way that “90 per cent of people seek advice from family and friends as part of the decision making process”.

Once you have your Bing plugged into your Facebook, you’ll start seeing all sorts of Facebookery appearing embedded inside your search results.

For example, if a page of results includes something one of your Facebook friends has Liked (that’s Liked, not merely liked), Bing will show you.

It will also tie in geo data about where your Facebook friends live, and let you Like stuff with one click one a button in the optional Bing bar.

What’s really going on here? Bing and Facebook have done a deal that is mutually beneficial, and hits back at their mutual enemy, Google.

Google’s past efforts at social features have fallen flat, and Bing didn’t want to make the same mistakes, so it simply did a deal with the most successful social company around. Bing gets more users via Facebook, slowly chipping away at Google’s market-leading position. “Bing” hasn’t become a verb yet, but Facebook is huger than huge, and an excellent way to pull people in.

Meanwhile Facebook gets a web search partner without having to friend Google first. So it’s happy too.

Personally, my Facebook friends are the last people I want virtually sitting on my shoulder while I’m searching the web. But that’s just me. I must be in that other 10 per cent of people.

(Via Bing blog)