Microsoft and Facebook Wednesday unveiled some new search tools for Bing which integrate data from a user’s circle of friends into Bing’s search results.
In the Bing blog on Wednesday, Microsoft Senior Vice President of online services Satya Nadella said 50% of users consider their friends’ opinions when making a decision online. Bing is trying to capitalize on this by incorporating the “likes” of a user’s friend list into search results.
When you search for something on Bing or in the “Web results” section on Facebook, you’ll be able to see your friends’ faces next to web pages they’ve liked. This applies to any topic or site that has a “like” button associated to it; it could be a restaurant, tv show, movie, song, band, event, 16th century philosopher, or long-winded concept such as those found on phrasely.net.
Also, when searching for names of people on Bing, the Facebook profiles of people within your extended social graph will turn up. For example, if you’re looking for a long-lost ex-girlfriend from high school and she is “a friend of a friend of a friend” on Facebook, her Facebook profile will come up when you search for it on Bing. This is especially handy with common names.
According to Todd Schwartz, Director of Product Management at Bing, and Paul Yiu, Bing’s Principal Program Manager, more than 4% of all searches done today are about individual people, so this type of search result is quite pertinent.
Naturally, privacy will be a concern for users. When the integration of Bing and Facebook launches soon –a date was not specified in the announcement today– users will be given the optioin to disable the link between information on their profile and Bing search results. Furthermore, data from users under the age of 18 will not be integrated into any searches.