Bing revamps Facebook ‘social sidebar’ search results

22/01/2013

Microsoft has updated its Bing social sidebar to add more results from Facebook timelines, following the launch of the social network’s new ‘graph search’ tool.

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The search engine now incorporates Facebook status updates, shared links, comments and photos from friends that may be relevant to a user’s query.

Previously, the Bing sidebar derived its results from profile information, photos and “likes”.

Bing director Bill Hankes describes the update as a “significant improvement and enhancement to the social sidebar”. Users that link their Facebook accounts will notice a significant increase in content derived from their friends’ timelines, a fivefold increase in fact.

Bing’s updated social sidebar “delivers not only a lot more information but also qualitative information”, he added.

“Those were the earliest signals that we began to incorporate from Facebook,” Hankes told eWEEK. Starting with this update, Bing also includes status updates, shared links and comments. The change bolsters Bing’s positioning as a search engine that people use to seek out recommendations and get things done, not just perform research.

Bing’s social sidebar and Facebook Graph Search are distinct and separate technologies, said Hankes. The latter represents a way to “search the structured data that users have contributed over the years”, he added.

Watch the official announcenemt video from Bing here:

Read the official Bing blog here

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