Bing Search Improves Facebook Integration

27 Feb/11

Is social the next search? Rumors about Facebook Search have been spread for years; The data that Facebook’s developers could utilize sounds enormous: Content from more than 500 million users who share loads of contents on Facebook. The obvious benefit in comparison to traditional search engines? The data is user generated. Google or Bing crawl the web day in day out to find new sites, and updates to existing sites. Facebook on the other hand just needs to process the data that its users generate.

Still, Facebook Search is not here yet, and it is not clear if it ever will. What seems to be clear is that search engines add social components to their search. Google and Bing utilize Twitter messages for instance and add them to the search results.

Microsoft recently made a change to its Bing search engine. You may remember that Bing announced a partnership with Facebook in October 2010 which added links to the Bing search results that a user’s Facebook friends liked.

Back then Bing added a “Liked by your Facebook friends” to the end of the search results page. The information were presented to the user in addition to the regular search results.

Bing has now made changes to the integration of Facebook likes. They basically did away with the Liked by your Facebook friends module at the end and integrated likes directly in the search results listings.

Your Facebook friend’s likes may appear right beneath individual search results on the Bing search results page.

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The example screenshot above shows how it looks like in Bing Search. Not every search query will trigger Like results. It depends largely on the number of friends and their likes. Some users may never see likes in the results, while others may see them constantly.

The usefulness of the information depends largely on the friends of the searcher. It always boils down to this: Do you trust your friend’s likes?

A simple example. If you search for the “which movie should I see in cinema today”, you may see results that contain likes of some of your friends. Say you are male and the likes are all from female friends. While it is possible that this movie may be fun to watch, another movie may be a better choice.

The integration of Facebook information in Bing should be seen as one additional signal that may aid user’s in the decision making process.

What’s your take on the integration of Facebook in Bing Search? (via)

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