Ronnie05's Blog

Bing adds a social layer to search: Search goes Social

Posted in Internet and Search, Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on October 18, 2010

In 2007, Microsoft paid $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook. Since then, the two companies have worked together to introduce advertisements on Facebook and incorporate Bing Maps into Facebook’s location application, called Places. Facebook and Microsoft appear to be forming a united front against Google, a rival to both in several ways. Despite heavy investment by Microsoft, Bing still greatly lags Google in terms of market share. Google has made several attempts to strengthen its social networking offerings and compete with Facebook.

As expected the Bing event announced the partnership of Facebook and Bing to fortify the Bing search domain with inputs from the social networking giant. The Bing Social Layer is more than a strategy to take out Google in search; to me, it is an evolution process.To many it is the coming true of the adage “ enemy (Facebook/ Bing) of the (common)enemy (Google) is a friend (Bing/Facebook)”.The common denominator here is Google, the common enemy. However to me it is the evolution of the internet from being search led to social led. At stake, analysts say, is the ability to know more about users, and to charge more for ads that are more effectively aimed at those users. Making search more social is ultimately going to drive more targeted advertising, a service and ability that marketers are willing to pay a huge premium for.

Bing’s new features now allows users who use Facebook to see Bing search results that incorporate information from their friends, like restaurant recommendations.

1. Bing now integrates information on recommendations and “likes” made by the users’ social circle. Thus Search result makes its transition to a Search Optimization Model to a more Social model. When a user searches for something like a movie, place or product on Bing, information about how many of their friends “liked” that item on Facebook and related links they have shared will appear alongside the results.

2. Bing also integrates people searches based on Facebook profiles and the mutual friends data. I am most familiar with this kind of data from the Linkedin Profiles. Adding this layer will add a certain element of sociability to the internet search domain.

Heres the video explaining the Bing Social Layer:

Bing is therefore going to introduce the power of social networks to Search. And it will be interesting to see how the search space plays up with the dash of socialization that Bing has injected into it. It is time for Google to react and for one a lot of people around think that Google should now acquire Twitter to counter the Bing-Facebook challenge.

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