Bing revealed new social functionalities to its search engine last week that continue the saga of social to search integration, and vice versa. Following Facebook's rollout of Graph Search, five times more of users' Facebook friend information is now searchable on Microsoft's search engine. In addition to the photos users could already see in previous versions, Bing will now show results that include status updates, shared links, and comments from users’ Facebook friends.
Whenever Bing’s algorithms detect a query where a Facebook update or a shared link could be useful, it will retrieve the content and put it into the sidebar. It's a personal touch, and the experience can enrich what might otherwise be a mundane search and retrieve excercise.
Bing said in a statement, “Search is great at retrieving information from across the web to help you find what you’re looking for and get more done. But, more often than not, we look to the people we trust to help us make decisions and get stuff done.”
The announcement came two days after Facebook announced Graph Search, a product that in essence is still being tested. For now it seems that Graph Search is generating more humor than real life application. But Bing’s social integration is not in beta, already available in the US.
With the increase of personal content from Facebook, Microsoft assured users.
"Bing also puts you in control of your search experience," it said in a statement. "We honor all of your existing Facebook privacy settings, nothing is shared automatically, and you only see what your friends give you permission to see so you only share what you want to share."
Bing will continue to highlight content from Twitter, Quora, foursquare and other social networks, but for now its main focus seems to be Facebook.