In the wake of the Bing-Facebook press event, major announcements have been made by the companies; some that will be going into effect almost immediately and some that will start to happen in the coming weeks and months. The idea behind this search and social networking partnership is to make searching more social and more personal. The two groups want to make it about more than conducting a query, getting your answer and leaving the site, they want to turn it into a whole experience. I am sure Bing is hoping that with this partnership more traffic will come to their search engine and that it will raise their share in search.
Two of the features that will be coming out shortly are “enhancing results with Facebook Likes” and “Facebook Profile search”. For the former, the way Bing sees it users are more likely to trust the opinions of their friends, family and colleagues than just random reviewers out there in the interweb. With the new feature, when you perform certain queries, results will appear at the top of the page that tell you which of your friends “liked” that particular response. The hope there is that since you are receiving a more “personal” result, you will return to Bing for your search needs.
During the press event it was stated that 4% of all search queries are “related to finding people”. With the second feature, Bing and Facebook are making it easier for users to find exactly who they are looking for. With the inclusion of your current social graph, the intended result is that when you search for someone you will find the correct person’s Facebook profile by the utilization of shared networks and friends. Also with the new Facebook Profile Results you have the option to view mutual friends, add the person as a friend or message them – all without having to leave the results page.
Users, obviously, have the option to NOT participate in the enhanced Bing results and “disable” it or learn more about it before proceeding. In addition to that privacy measure, users will only see information of people already in their network, information that is already public, and everything you search for will remain private. The goal with all of this is to bring some of Facebook’s hundreds of millions of users over to Bing and for Facebook users to become more involved in their profiles so that search results will become more personalized over time.
What do you think of all these new enhancements and of the Bing-Facebook partnership in general? Do you agree with the continued socialization of search? Will the integration help push Bing to the search engine forefront?