This morning Microsoft announced an expanded implementation of Facebook plugins within Bing’s search results, which now display data on “likes,” further emphasizing the ongoing battle with Google over the future of social search.
Just last week Google formally announced the incorporation of Tweets into search results. On the same day Microsoft announced the integration of Facebook functionality into the the Bing toolbar and browser, but waited until today to announce the inclusion of likes.
Microsoft’s integration is practically identical to Google’s except that Bing leverages Facebook instead of Twitter. Now Bing search results display likes of friends directly under the results themselves (pictured below), in contrast to the previous version in which liked pages were separated from the actual results.
While it’s not clear how much a page’s likes will affect search results right now, over time there could be more of a noticeable impact as search becomes more social. The battle lines have been drawn and it’s Facebook and Bing versus Google and Twitter. We’ll have to wait and see just how social Google becomes and whether or not users will migrate to Bing for their search queries.
The social search war has begun and I have a feeling it will be a long fight ahead.