Yahoo today unveiled a brand new design for its image search results page. As part of the update, Yahoo has split up the page into three new category tabs: Latest, Galleries, and Facebook.
The Latest tab automatically appears for image search results of trending topics (events, celebrities, and news), while the Galleries tab appears for image search results that include photo galleries (Yahoo News, Flickr, and OMG). The Facebook tab is where it gets interesting, at least to me.
For the Facebook tab to appear, two things need to happen. First, you need to connect your Facebook account with Yahoo image search. Second, your search results must include matches from your Facebook friends' names, photo album names, or album descriptions.
Facebook photos have actually existed in Yahoo's image search since last year. The new part is simply the dedicated tab that can appear if the above conditions are met. It won't happen often, but when it does, Facebook will definitely benefit from being featured so prominently.
I don't ever expect to see Google partner with Facebook, especially given their ongoing war, but that being said, I'm still getting used to Yahoo's recent enthusiasm for Facebook. After all, less than a year ago (in October 2010), Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz called Facebook creepy and said it could be the company's biggest competitor one day.
Yahoo has slowly been warming up to Facebook in the last year so, but putting the social network front and center in its image search is still unexpected. I wonder if Microsoft has helped Yahoo start to appreciate Facebook more. We know that Microsoft is a big investor in Facebook, and the software giant is also closer to Yahoo now that Bing is powering Yahoo's search.
Either way, as Facebook continues to fight Google, it needs all the help it can get. Having the two other major players in the search space on its side is definitely helpful. Oh, and don't forget the rumors and counter rumors about Facebook trying to strike a deal with Baidu.
- Bing adds more Facebook features to Social Search
- Microsoft puts Facebook into Bing Bar
- Google Social Search is still missing Facebook
- Microsoft starts providing search results to Yahoo