Microsoft today released a new version of the Bing Bar for IE7, IE8, and IE9 that includes Facebook integration. I personally hate toolbars, but if the Facebook aspect intrigues you, go grab it from toolbar.discoverbing.com/toolbar.
In addition to being able to conduct a search, check your e-mail, and use various Bing features that you probably never knew existed, the Bing Bar now also checks your Facebook account. It's the latest advancement in the broad partnership between the software giant and the social networking giant.
The Bing Bar will now let you know when something new happens on Facebook, so that you don't have to keep checking the website while you browse other parts of the Web. Specifically, the toolbar will keep you posted on the following:
- News Feed – You have quick access to your news feed to see posts from your friends and to update your status. You can also comment on or Like a friend’s post right from the Bing Bar.
- Photos – With photos you get a great looking collage of your friend’s photos, making it easy to scan the pictures your friends are sharing.
- Friend Requests, Messages, and Alerts – The Bing Bar also provides a quick glimpse and easy access to friend requests, messages, and Facebook notifications.
What's rather interesting is that the Bing Bar also has alerts that offer a quick view into new e-mails or Facebook messages from one central place. This should not be confused with what Facebook announced three months ago: a new Facebook Messages service that allows users to have a @facebook.com e-mail addresses. The system is more than just e-mail as it combines text messaging, instant messaging, e-mails, and regular messages.