Bing’s new social search features arrive today

Today we are completing our deployment of our new social features that we built in partnership with Facebook. We’re really excited to get these features in the hands of all our US users.

As with all the work we do at Bing, we have been focused on user feedback in an effort to make sure the features are really useful to customers, and we have made a couple of changes to the product that we want to make people aware of.

Early users told us that they expected the same access to their friends inside Bing as they already have inside Facebook. This surfaced as some dissatisfaction with the way the features were working, specifically people were disappointed when they did not see their friends show up in their searches.

So we looked for a way to respect the sharing intent you have with your friends inside Facebook, and use that to deliver a similarly powerful experience inside Bing.

This led the teams at both companies to do a couple of things:

Assuming you have selected to share information with your friends inside Facebook, you will show up in profile searches in Bing, even if you have selected not to have profile information show up in public search engines. This is similar behavior to the way Facebook works. It’s important to note that you will not show up in web searches on major search engines including Bing, just in Facebook Profile Searches within Bing conducted by your friends or friends of friends.

Facebook requires users to be 13 years of age or older to join the service. Bing originally limited profile search results to people 18 and older. Our customers told us is that if they already had a Facebook friend relationship with a person under 18, they would like those people to surface in Bing’s results as well. So we have changed that feature to allow any Facebook user who has these features active to show up in searches for their friends or friends of friends, which is more like the experience customers have within Facebook.

The way customers can control the features (turning them on and off) remains the same, and you can learn more about the features themselves at our learn more page.

We believe these changes will make the experience better for customers, allowing them to bring their friends with them into the Bing experience, making search more social, more personal and more useful.

We hope you like these new capabilities and look forward to your feedback.

Paul Yiu – Group Program Manager, Bing

Join the conversation

  1. animageofmine

    What is the usability of this feature ? I tried it and it does not return anything in facbook results unless someone likes some specific movie or may be a link. Searching for the same thing with the exact key words for what a friend has liked is kind of rare.

    If I like something and share it on my fb wall and my friend searches for some of the keywords in my wall post, bing would not return anything. And most of the users only share their thoughts, location or game scores on FB. Nothing is returned on FB for this stuff. In addition to that, FB results are at the bottom and not even visible to the users unless you know that there is a social feature for FB in Bing and the results are at the bottom.

    I don't find it useful anyway. Rolling out with new features is always good, but no point if they are not useful. Do one thing, but do it completely, otherwise some users who are loyal to your product will also turn away.

    Just my two cents, good luck !

  2. bouka55

    for social searching to really take off, one would have to have thousands of friends, anybody who has that many friends on Facebook you just know their not real friends!

  3. rros

    I like where you guys are headed… and would like to offer a revolutionary idea lol.

    Could BING let users upload family pictures "only" (daughters, sons, siblings, recently born babies, toddlers) to be placed DAILY -after an internal approval process and proper screening/selection- on the front page of BING instead of the scenic views that relate little to people, in spite of the beautiful landscapes?

    This way:

    1) users will have an incentive to browse BING every day to see if their family photo has been made part of the front page. (aside from emailing users whose pictures got rewarded),

    2) by allowing users to bookmark that page, BING will establish a direct connection with that specfic user which will use BING on a regular basis as his family picture will be the one displayed on the front page.

    3)  Most users, if not all, whose pictures get displayed will have an incentive to share that page with friends and family not to mention making that page their home page. So the "users' bing page" may become viral bringing in more users.

    4) Down the road, BING can organize a voting contest and have audiences choose a monthly portrait to be permanently displayed in a BING gallery of the month.

    I think that above can certainly strengthen the emotional connection between users and BING and help perpetuate the relationship for the long haul. And because of the scale of the search engine, this idea can be adapted to different segments and different markets (geographically, regionally, by language, by country or even by city, etc.)

    Send the popcorn to my address in Miami :)

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