Bing has added Facebook integration to Bing Shopping in the form of shopping lists. Users can select items they are thinking about buying, add them to a list, and post that list to their Facebook Wall from Bing, and ask their friends what they should buy.
"We've taken this notion that you make decisions online using your social network," Bing says. "And we said how can we take that experience....and make it part of the core search experience that you can use to get stuff done faster."
On every product on Bing shopping, there is an "Add to List" button. When clicked, a shopping list module will appear on the bottom left of the screen with a button to share that list anytime.
Once you share it and go to your Facebook Wall, it's treated like any other shared link on Facebook, and you can add additional messages, such as, "Would you go with the Jordans or the Reebok Pumps?" or "Which Xbox should I get?"
"Now you can enlist the help of your favorite gadget geek," says Bing. "Give your friends and family a nudge by publishing a wish-list to your Facebook Wall."
The Search-Meets-Social Trend
This is just one of the latest in a continuing trend of social media features added to search. In fact, Google is also currently experimenting with a new section in Google News for "most shared" that appears to show activity on social networks like Twitter (ht: Mashall Kirkpatrick).
The new Bing feature, however, is basically just sharing search results more than it is tapping into existing friend data that's out there, which is more what another Facebook/Bing announcement was about.
It's an interesting time for search-meets-social because there are so many possibilities for creating effective integrations. The two complement one another in many ways, and social can help users reach decisions about their search results. We talked about that at length here. It's also why Facebook has great potential as a search engine.
Bing is smart to take advantage of Facebook data in different ways, and we'll no doubt see more integrations as time goes on. Google can't get the kind of access Bing has, and it refuses to go the Facebook Connect/social plug-in route that a substantial portion of the web (even Myspace) has embraced.
Bing and Facebook are two of the biggest competitors Google has, and the more they work together, the more Google has to worry about.