Microsoft has expanded its social features in Bing. The company's goal is to improve search by leveraging Facebook, so that users can receive personalized search results based on what their friends are saying and doing online.
Microsoft lists the following six features for the update; five of them are specifically related to Facebook:
Improved Liked Results, Answers & Sites: Instantly see which stories, content and sites your Facebook friends have “liked,” from news stories, celebrities, movies, bands, brands and more. Bing shows the faces of up to three of your friends that like a search result, offering a visual, virtual seal of approval from your trusted social network.
Popular Sites: Bing shows collective Like results related to trending topics, articles, and Facebook fan pages, to find the most popular content. When you search for a recipe site, for example, you’ll see specific articles people have liked on that site to help you cut through the clutter and find recommendations from others – both your friends and the broader Facebook community.
Expanded Facebook Profile Search: Now when searching for a specific person, Bing will provide a more in-depth bio snapshot, such as location, education, and employment details to help you find who you’re looking for more quickly.
Flight Deals: Bing will send you great deals on flights directly to your Facebook feed, for cities you’ve liked on Bing Travel.
Friends Who Live Here: Traveling to a new city and looking for recommendations on where to eat or stay? Easily find and consult friends who live or have lived near a destination.
Shared Shopping Lists: You can build a shopping list and share, compare and discuss it with your friends on Facebook.
Microsoft data shows that nearly half of people say seeing their friend's Likes within search results could help them make better decisions; and who better than a group of trusted friends to guide everyday decision making? Bing's new features make it easy to see what people’s Facebook friends Like across the Web, incorporate the collective IQ of the Web into their search results, and conduct conversational searches. We're marrying fact-based search results with your friends’ street smarts -- combining the best data available on the Web with the ability to quickly gut check it with people you trust.
Microsoft and Facebook have been partners long before Bing even existed. One of the biggest reasons for this is simple: the software giant and the social giant realize they need to work together to compete with the search giant. Microsoft and Facebook both know that they are stronger against Google together (they can offer features Google cannot) than they are apart (Google would rip them to shreds in the online space).
Back in October 2009, Microsoft first announced a global partnership with Facebook that would see the social network's status updates in Bing search results. In June 2010, Microsoft started testing its Facebook integration on bing.com/social by delivering real-time results of public updates from aggregated data and Facebook Pages. Then in October 2010, Microsoft started to roll out more features: Bing began showing what your friends have Liked and start to offer Facebook-powered people search results.
Now Microsoft is building on that some more; the videos below show Stefan Weitz, Director of Bing, explaining the aforementioned features: