Bing, Facebook: Like Is Only the Beginning

Facebook users who sign into their accounts before performing searches on Bing will gain access to personalized search results that incorporate information from their friends, including likes, as well as “the collective IQ” of the Internet, the Microsoft-owned search engine announced in a post on the Bing Search Blog Monday.

Bing took an earlier Facebook integration step in November, allowing users of the social-networking site who chose to share information with their friends to show up in those friends’ profile searches, but not to the general public, or on any other search engines.

With Monday’s announcement, the two parties took their integration one step further, giving Bing users access to stories, content, and sites liked by Facebook friends, as well as displaying the faces of up to three friends that like a search result.

Bing is also offering more insight into popular websites, displaying content from those sites that has garnered positive sentiment on Facebook, such as the most popular recipe on a cooking site.

And when searching company sites, Bing will display related social media content, either from the company itself or from Facebook friends.

As far as searching users’ actual Facebook friends, Bing added more in-depth information, including location, education, and employment details.

Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi posted on the Bing Search Blog:

Research tells us that 90 percent of people seek advice from family and friends as part of the decision-making process. This “Friend Effect” is apparent in most of our decisions and often outweighs other facts because people feel more confident, smarter, and safer with the wisdom of their trusted circle. A movie critic may pan the latest summer blockbuster, but your friends say it’s the feel-good movie of the year, so you ignore the critic and go (and wholeheartedly agree). Historically, search hasn’t incorporated this “Friend Effect” — and 80 percent of people will delay making a decision until they can get a friend’s stamp of approval. This decision delay, or period of time it takes to hunt down a friend for advice, can last anywhere from a few minutes to days, whether you’re waiting for a call back, text, email, or Tweet.

Today, Bing is bringing the collective IQ of the Web together with the opinions of the people you trust most, to bring the “Friend Effect” to search. Starting today, you can receive personalized search results based on the opinions of your friends by simply signing into Facebook. New features make it easier to see what your Facebook friends “like” across the Web, incorporate the collective know-how of the Web into your search results, and begin adding a more conversational aspect to your searches. Decisions can now be made with more than facts — now the opinions of your trusted friends and the collective wisdom of the Web.

You can quickly see what your friends like and are sharing. Find and connect with the right friends faster. Pick the brains of friends of who live where you’re traveling and share shopping lists with your own team of retail gurus. And, return the favor to your friends by liking more things on the Web. With one click, you can let your network know that you like a brand, an article, a celebrity, or even a place. Because we know the best decisions are not just fueled by facts, they require the opinions and recommendations of your friends.

Instantly see which stories, content, and sites your Facebook friends have “liked,” from news stories, celebrities, movies, bands, brands, and more. With the “thumbs up” from your friends, you can jump right to the stuff that matters the most to you. Bing shows the faces of up to three of your friends that like a search result, offering a visual and virtual seal of approval from your trusted social network.

It’s not just your friends that can help you out — there’s also value in the larger brain trust of the Web. Bing now brings the collective IQ of people to decision making, when your friends don’t have the right expertise or you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Search is better when it’s not just based in math and algorithms, but also infused with the opinions of people. Input from the collective IQ can enable search to become a discovery tool, allowing you to benefit from the connections, inferences, and “likes” of it.

Bing not only shows you what your friends like and share online, but also what major brands and companies are saying. For example, when you search for Avis, the answer on Bing will integrate any recent Facebook posts alerting you to a new deal.

Many decisions require a discussion with your friends. By combining Facebook’s communication tools with Bing, search can become conversational and turn decision-making on Bing from a passive experience to an active dialogue. For example, Bing now has a feature to help you pick the brains of friends who live where you’re traveling to. Or, you can share shopping lists with your own team of retail gurus — and this is just the beginning. Our vision is to combine Bing with the power of discovery and empowerment of conversation. That’s when the magic will really begin.

This is just the beginning. If you’d like to see more of your friends’ input, encourage them to “like” stuff on the Web, and return the favor yourself by “liking” things too. Our new Bing Toolbar has a universal “like” button — letting you easily give a virtual thumbs-up to any page on the web. Download it, and “liking” things will never be easier.

And if you don’t want like the idea of sharing your “likes” with your friends, Bing makes it easy for you to control your experience, so you share only what you want.

Bing and Facebook are making a bet — one that will marry the logic of search with the recommendations and opinions of your social network and the masses — to extend search beyond just fact-based decision making, to decisions that are made with the power of people and search.

<br/><a href=”” target=”_new”title=”Facebook Friends Now Fueling Faster Decisions on Bing”>Video: Facebook Friends Now Fueling Faster Decisions on Bing</a>