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

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