The announcement, over at the Bing blog
, covers all the ins and outs, but the main part that will affect the everyday user are the social features such as enhanced profile searches and sharing your Facebook information while searching Bing.
Firstly, in light of all the privacy criticism, it should be pointed out that these new features are all opt-in. This is what the experts term A Good Thing. Secondly, I think this is a potential first step towards greater personalization of search results and a widening of social search.
Bing is trying to improve search results with information from Facebook ‘likes’. Which makes sense. If I do a search for ‘New York hotels’, for instance, Bing should be able to enhance the standard results with the hotels which any of my Facebook friends have liked. And with no disrespect to Microsoft, I’m much more likely to be influenced by what my friends and family suggest than what Bing does.
Of course Google has been trying to incorporate “results from people in your social circle
” for a while now, but with Facebook being far and away the biggest social network (at least in the USA), the potential for Bing is that much greater.
So what do you think? Will Bing be able to steal a march here and claw back some search share? Will you be willing to share your Facebook info with Microsoft? Does the whole thing sounds a bit Big Brother-esque to you? Let us know!