Facebook and Bing do social search

by Stacey Alexander on June 13, 2011

in Search,Social Media

Last month, Bing rolled out its new social search feature in which it teamed up with Facebook to provide social context for your searches. Their main message is that you don’t make decisions without your friends on anything else, why should you have to when you’re searching for products or sites on the Web?

It’s not live for everyone yet, but this is how it works:

You go to Bing to search for “Iron Man”. If you’re logged into your Facebook account, you will see something like this.

In this example, the searcher knows that two of his friends ‘like’ Iron Man. Knowing this, it is more likely he will trust that it’s a good movie.

Bing Director, Stefan Weitz explains this concept in this video (2:34).

<br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&#038;vid=243216f7-9941-4f48-a2d0-2065e06a47b5&#038;src=SLPl:embed::uuids&#038;fg=sharenoembed" onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&amp;vid=243216f7-9941-4f48-a2d0-2065e06a47b5&amp;src=SLPl:embed::uuids&amp;fg=sharenoembed']);" target="_new"title="Facebook Friends Now Fueling Faster Decisions on Bing">Video: Facebook Friends Now Fueling Faster Decisions on Bing</a>

I think most people are agreeing that this approach to social search is several steps above Google’s new +1 button, but there are skeptics out there that are saying the partnership with Bing is not a desirable one.

As far as privacy goes, if you’re not into the idea that all your Facebook friends will see your preferences when they search, Bing has offered an opt-out. You can change it for each time you search. And for those of you that don’t want this at all, simply sign out of Facebook before searching…or Google it.

What are your thoughts on the partnership and it’s new service?

Photos from Facebook blog.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Morgan Siem June 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I give it a thumbs up. I imagine that it will take some time to really be meaningful for people, but over time, more and more people will use it, and it will become more and more useful. Here’s how I envision it being useful:
Scenario: I’m looking for a hair salon in downtown Raleigh. I search (on Bing in this case) for “Best Raleigh hair salon.” Under each result I can see which of my Facebook friends ‘likes’ which salon. I see that Bobby, Johnny and Tim like the first result and Barbara, Joanna and Tina like the second. That certainly helps me decide which hair salon is better suited for me. And, if I still need more info, I can get on FB and ask one of those friends for more details.


Stacey Alexander Stacey Alexander June 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm

It definitely has value, and adds convenience if you already use Bing. But will you convert to Bing for search? Or will you just type your terms into your Chrome address bar?


Morgan Siem June 15, 2011 at 9:55 am

Chrome address bar FTW :)


edith ( edie) June 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I want to opt out completely from the Bing people search and any affiliates forever. How to do this?



Stacey Alexander Stacey Alexander June 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Hi Edie. Unfortunately, every time Facebook adds a new feature, it’s up to you to opt yourself out. There’s no way to opt out for future things. The Bing integration is set up as an app, so you can control what information your friends see when they are using an app. As far as social not appearing in your search results, it won’t happen if you don’t sign into Bing using Facebook and allow the Bing app to access your Facebook profile.

Here is the comprehensive explanation from Bing: http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/bing/gg276362.aspx


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