Today, Microsoft's search engine has announced that its "decision engine" will now be influenced by what they are calling the "friend effect," basically what is popular with one's Facebook friends. If you log into Facebook through Bing, you will now receive information on what your friends "like" when viewing search results.
Not only will the new Bing with Facebook simply show you that your friends like a certain result, but the search engine will use the information is gleans from Facebook to actually modify your search results.
Here is a detailed description of what the Facebook integration will look like on Bing, courtesy of the official Bing blog:
“Liked” Results, Answers & Sites
Instantly see which stories, content and sites your Facebook friends have “liked,” from news stories, celebrities, movies, bands, brands and more. With the “thumbs up” from your friends you can jump right to the stuff that matters the most to you. Bing shows the faces of up to three of your friends that like a search result, offering a visual and virtual seal of approval from your trusted social network.
Bing delivers a more personalized search experience by using the interests shown by your friends. Now you won’t miss potentially interesting information that may have been buried deep within the search results. Bing will surface results, which may typically have been on page three or four, higher in its results based on stuff your friends have liked. And, how often do you go beyond page one of the results?
Bing shows well-liked content, including trending topics, articles and Facebook fan pages, from sites across the web, to help you dig in and quickly find exactly what you’re looking for. Looking for a great recipe? Now when you search for a recipe site, you’ll see what recipes people have liked on that site, allowing you to cut through the clutter and find the perfect recipe for dinner.
Integration of Social Messages
Bing not only shows you what your friends like and share online, but also what major brands and companies are saying. For example, when you search for Avis, the answer on Bing will integrate any recent Facebook posts alerting you to a new deal.
Bing is also integrating Facebook profile search into the engine, so that when you search for a person, Bing will provide a detailed "bio snapshot" of the person based one their Facebook profile.
Bing is basing this partnership on the idea that recommendations from friends and family are what people want when making decisions. This shift towards social search might even be a bigger deal than it initially looks like on the surface. Bing says that "search remains largely driven by facts and links" and that this Facebook integration means that "it's time to change that." This may in fact be the first step in search becoming a truly social experience.
As they say above, they are surfacing results, possibly from page three or four, to page one based on their popularity with friends. Is this indeed an algorithm change?
Will you log into Facebook and use Bing's new social search?