Bing Enhances Social Sidebar With Five Times More Facebook Content To Your Searches

January 18, 2013 0

New York — Barely two days after accomplishing a big partnership with Facebook’s new Graph Search, Bing on Thursday announced that it is expanding its social sidebar with more robust Facebook integration with Microsoft’s search engine to the already social-heavy Bing experience launched last year.

At present, when you search on Bing, the right-hand sidebar provides “Social Results” with your Facebook friends’ “Likes,” photos and profile information, given that your Facebook account is linked. But with today’s expansion, Microsoft claims significantly more content from your Facebook friends’ is now searchable in Bing’s sidebar, assuming you link the two services together.

For example, Microsoft asserts that this appended social data will make it easier for Bing users to see who and what is related to their search, In short, the company is further hoping Facebook friends can help you add even more context to your search.

“Beginning today, each person will see an average of five times more Facebook content from their friends in the sidebar,” a spokesperson for Bing said in a statement. “This includes the addition of status updates, shared links, and comments from your friends, so it is easier to see who and what they have shared related to your search.”

Emphasizing on some handy features of this update, the company executive said, “With the inclusion of status updates, shared links and comments to the sidebar, it is now easier to see who knows and what they have shared related to your search. So when your friends are not around, Bing is the perfect stand-in,” says Bing Corporate Vice President Derrick Connell in a blog post.

For instance, if you do a search for “Seattle Seahawks,” you will be able to see comments, pictures, posts and much more from your Facebook friends. This includes being able to discover something new with Bing’s “Friends’ Photos experience” in full-screen.

Below is how it looks:

“Bing also entitles you to control all your search experience,” says Connell. “We honor all of your existing Facebook privacy settings, nothing is shared automatically, you only see what your friends give you permission to see (through their Facebook settings) so you only share what you want to share.”

Moreover, Bing has also removed the need to hover over a friend to view more info. Everything is now laid out in the sidebar and there is a “+” icon that lets you see more information if needed.

Apart from the above, there a couple more tweaks that Bing made. Microsoft also underlined that its social sidebar features enthusiasts from Twitter, Foursquare, Quora, Klout, and Google+ and more on the sidebar. The idea is to “surface people who may have valuable insights” on whatever you are searching for.

As a matter of fact, this continues a strong relationship between Facebook and Microsoft, a partnership that dates back to 2007 when Microsoft invested $240 million in the social network.

Briefly, if you want to search Facebook, you will be using Graph Search in the future. If you want to search the Web, you can find Bing’s results blended in with Facebook, or you can search Bing and get Facebook results mixed in.

Here is the new social sidebar in action:


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