Please note that information contained within this post has been updated. For the latest information regarding Bing social search features please see the following update. – Bing Team, 11/2/2010
As you read in Satya’s post, today we announced a significant expansion of our partnership with Facebook, where Bing will provide much more personalized experiences to you by allowing you to bring your Facebook friends into your search experience. We think the addition of this new “social signal” will allow us to deliver a number of valuable enhancements into the Bing experience.
Today, we want to share two features we will be rolling out in the days to come, that are a starting point in our journey to make Bing more social, and continue to make Bing the best place to come to make decisions and complete tasks.
Enhancing Results with Facebook Likes
People ask their friends for information to help make decisions all the time. How was the food in that new restaurant, should I go see that movie in the theatre or wait till DVD, or what do you think of that hot new phone? Today Bing launches a new feature called Liked Results, which uses Facebook “like” information to help you discover new information and get more personalized results in Bing.
Original Bing Results
Let me give you an example of how this can really help you get better results. Recently, I headed to San Francisco and was looking for a great steak restaurant. In typical fashion I searched for it and got a great list of restaurant results with maps, phone numbers and even reviews to help me narrow the choices. Now with Liked Results I discover a restaurant called Alexander’s Steakhouse that my friends also like. This result is not only personalized for me due to the fact that my friends like it, but it is actually put into the top results based on this social signal.
Bing with Liked Results
While Liked Results won’t show up for every query, this is just one of many examples where the social information from your friends in Facebook can really add richness and depth to standard web results to help you make more informed decisions.
Facebook Profile Search
More than 4% of Search Engine queries are related to finding people. Yet most search engines simply return the same bunch of web links for everybody, which can make it difficult to find the right person without a lot of effort. Welcome to Facebook Profile Results. Let’s say I’m looking for an old high school friend Brian Lee. A traditional search gives me famous Hockey players, a pro wrestler, actors, photographers, and a whole bunch more. But by bringing my Facebook friends with me into Bing, I can narrow down my options to help me find the right Brian Lee – the one from my high school. We’ve also enabled you to take action and add the friend, or even send them a message to make the task of finding the right person that much easier.
Remember, You’re in Control
One of the top things that privacy experts emphasized, and customers told us about all the Facebook features, was that privacy and control were very important to enabling Facebook information within Bing. So, we took that feedback very seriously and put user privacy at the core to all these features in Bing. Bing’s “Liked Results”, for example, will surface content that is designated as “public” and linked to a person’s Facebook friends. This is the same information someone could access by viewing their Facebook network directly, except it adds relevancy by being presented alongside “traditional” Bing search results.
Our goal is to deliver the most recently shared links and information in a way that demonstrates our commitment to user privacy. While the social search feature only uses information from an individual’s Facebook network, we take additional steps to provide customers with greater control over their information and to help safeguard people’s privacy. Some key functions we’ve built include:
· You will be notified that we will be enhancing your Bing experience before we actually do it, with an opportunity to say “disable” or to go and learn more before you decide if you want to take advantage of the feature.
· People will only see Facebook Profile Search results for people in their Facebook network when signed into Facebook. Users will only see “like” information from their Facebook friends. In both cases, only information that is intended to be shared broadly across the internet is shared.
· Facebook requires users to be 13 or older to access its services, and Bing’s Facebook Profile Search feature will only surface results for users who are 18 or older based upon their Facebook profile.
While the benefits of a more personalized search experience are enabled by default if you are signed into Facebook, there is a control feature that sits at the top of the Bing Page and a notification with first five searches in Bing that enables customers to learn more about the feature or turn it off the feature within Bing with a few simple clicks.
A final question we heard is whether people can see what you’re searching for. Your searches are private; your friends cannot see what you are searching for. Bing only connects with your Facebook network to bring you the content they have “liked” and the people in your network you know. Your search information is not shared back with your Facebook network.
Personalized Results Coming Soon
Today we are announcing these two new exciting features with Facebook – Liked Results and Facebook Profile Search. We are excited to launch these features to give Bing and Facebook customers more personalized results and help them make more informed decisions. Look for your personalized results to be live in very soon. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out this video to see these features in action. And once you try it, we hope that if you love Facebook, you’ll love Bing’s personalized results too.
Paul Yiu – Group Program Manager
Todd Schwartz – Director of Product Management