As has been widely reported, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks are not part of Google's recently launched Search plus Your World (SPYW). While Facebook and Twitter are not pleased (and they're fighting back), there's a party that is benefiting and plans to benefit even more from Google's decision to boost Google+ in its search results, but not Facebook or Twitter: Microsoft.
You see, Bing is the only search engine that has explicit deals to access data from both Facebook and Twitter. While Google's small, but biggest competitor, has the social advantage, it hasn't really used it very much. That being said, Microsoft is slowly adding more social features that depend on Facebook (and Twitter). Furthermore, Bing Search director Stefan Weitz told AllThingsD that social is good for Bing, and more Facebook/Twitter integration is coming very soon:
Do you think it makes sense for search engines to pay to access social data? I'm not on the business side, but I think for search to work properly, you have to understand that if a missing component has to be included, you have to [make a deal for] it.
Has social search positively impacted the Bing experience? Are there measurable impacts of social users being more satisfied with their results? For sure — the biggest thing we see is when you look on the search page and see the faces [of your friends], the click-through rate goes up substantially. It goes back to basic neuroscience: We pay attention to people. The core user experience has gotten a ton better, and it's very early. We've taken a while to do this, but it's complex.
When are you going to press your social advantage in Bing, seeing as you have both Facebook and Twitter deals and Google doesn't? You're going to see the culmination of a lot of our learnings in the not too distant future. All those lessons will be applied into something that I think is pretty interesting. How we think about social is always evolving, and the next turn of the crank is more differentiated than we've seen in the past.
It's important to emphasize that Google still has access to most of the data that Microsoft has. Bing's main advantage, however, is efficiency; crawling is expensive. Since Facebook and Twitter give Microsoft feeds to their public content, Bing can do whatever it wants with the data much more quickly than Google can.
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- Zuckerberg: Google, Microsoft collect data "behind your back"