Following Google’s lead of integrating social networking into search, Bing is getting a heavy dose of Facebook in what Microsoft is calling, ‘the Friend Effect’.
Microsoft believes that Bing users want opinions from their Facebook friends before making decisions, citing that 90% of users say so. In response, Bing is including your friends’ Facebook ‘Likes’ in your search results, thus letting you get their input immediately.
This is quite different from Google’s social approach, which aggregates your search results with shared content from social networks you’ve already liked to your account. Bing is more focused on the ‘Like’ button.
With this feature, Bing is aiming to add a new social level to search. For example, if you search for the Eiffel Tower and find that two of your Facebook friends ‘Liked’ it, you can easily click the links and ask them to recommend their favorite tour guides.
The shopping side of Bing really benefits from the Facebook Integration. While searching in Bing Shopping for items, Facebook sharing is a single click away. Microsoft doesn’t want you to have to go to great lengths to make decisions. With your friends just a click away, the company is aiming to simplify this process.
Bing also received a universal ‘Like’ button to its toolbar, which can be used to ‘Like’ virtually anything you find while surfing the web. This, of course, will contribute to the overriding goal of providing users with input from their friends. Bing uses an algorithm called “Collective IQ” to optimize your search results if there’s a lack of ‘Likes’ within your searches.
Microsoft’s idea behind this integration is unique, and should provide users with a totally different alternative to what Google’s offering.
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