For a long time, everyone was shouting that Facebook was Google’s biggest competitor. I scoffed at this, loudly vocalizing my opinion that Facebook was irrelevant to Google in the search scene. As two entirely different companies with different aims and models, there was no need to cross wires. You’ll not that I stopped this “Facebook doesn’t matter to Google” line after one event: the Bing/Facebook partnership.
With Bing utilizing Facebook for social search (undoubtedly a key element in search results during the 2010s), and no Google-Facebook partnership showing as of yet, Bing is gaining a major advantage – and they know it. That would be why they’ve added so many Facebook-integrated features to their search. This week a number of new features are launching that touch on even more areas of social potential in searching. To summarize:
- The new Bing Bar adds a “like” option for any page you visit, allowing for easier contributions.
- Pages that have been “liked” by friends will be promoted up to several pages. Further, these liked pages will have a note of who specifically liked the page.
- You can now easily share shopping items or even entire shopping lists that you’re considering to get advice from Facebook friends.
- Sites, or pages within sites, that are popular (i.e., have been liked by a lot of people, whether they’re your friends or not) will now be separated and displayed along with a denotation of how many have liked it.
- Friends will now be displayed in travel searches when they live in the area, giving you some insider insight into the region.
- You can subscribe for recurring information from Bing on several sub-sections of the Bing site if you “like” them (for example, liking a travel page will get you notifications of special flight deals to that area).
- Recent relevant messages from the Facebook page of a company you search for will be promoted to your search results.
There are plenty of other more minor features, too. If you’re into the social search concept, give Bing a whirl. Just make sure you’ve logged into Facebook and your friends actually “like” some pages before you search. If you’re trying to like some pages yourself, you can use the Bing Bar (mentioned above) or one of the many Chrome or Firefox extensions such as this one that allow the same thing.
[via the Bing Blog]