Microsoft’s Bing and Facebook have forged a strong partnership over the years and taking this forward is the announcement of the availability of more Facebook features to the Bing sidebar. Not just this but it also introduced a host of other features in order to increase the richness of a user’s search experience with even increased social integration.
The key changes/improvements are as follows:
- More Facebook content in Bing: Five times more of a friend’s Facebook is now searchable on Bing, implying that even a status update, a shared link, a comment or a photo that is relevant to the search query will appear in the sidebar.
- Streamlined Design: This allows for a user to get to know more about a friend or an expert at a single glance with the content being available up front without the need to hover over the result for more details. There is less blank space now thanks to the new ‘left-justified’ design while additional social results can be viewed under the ‘+ see all’ icon.
- Best of Social Web: Based on the search query, Bing now pulls up various experts and enthusiasts from Twitter, Quora, foursquare, and other social networks on the results page.
“Bing also puts you in control of your search experience. We honor all of your existing Facebook privacy settings, nothing is shared automatically, you only see what your friends give you permission to see (though their Facebook settings) so you only share what you want to share.” – Bing team
Users wishing to avail Bing’s sidebar need to sign in to their respective accounts by clicking the ‘Connect to Facebook’ sign on the Bing homepage (still not available outside US region). This update comes after Facebook announced the Graph Search which almost does the same job on the social platform and gives out results from Bing when a search query isn’t met internally.
Not sure if this Facebook integration is healthy or can turn out to be a threat to a user’s privacy.