Bing Goes Social | Facebook-Instagram Probe | Twitter Followers Stop Almost-Suicide

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Bing Reinvents Social Search and Discovery (Mashable)
Bing has been reinvented, offering enhanced search results that tap into the power of social media. Microsoft has done this by pulling people out of search results and putting them in their place: A right-hand social column that will eventually include Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Quora and LinkedIn integration, as well as people who may know something about your most recent Bing query. AllFacebook The new Bing will gradually be rolled out to users, and those interested in getting it earlier can sign up. The search engine makes its suggestions based on information in friends’ Facebook profiles, their likes and photos they have shared. The New York Times Strengthening the ties between Bing and Facebook is a sign of how Microsoft and Facebook are working together to provide a counterbalance to their common adversary, Google. While Google is by far the dominant player in the Internet search business, it also competes with Microsoft in productivity applications and with Facebook through its Google+ social network. The Wall Street Journal Microsoft’s share of U.S. Web search was 15.3 percent in March, according to comScore, while Google had a 66.4 percent share. Combined with Yahoo!, for which Bing also powers search, Microsoft had a combined 29 percent market share. Forbes In 2007, Microsoft spent $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook, which goes public next week. And the two nabbed headlines in October 2010 by announcing their plan to team up on social search.

Facebook Instagram Deal Delay Threat (Financial Times)
A competition probe into Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of photo-sharing service Instagram threatens to postpone the closure of the deal beyond the second quarter, the target set by the company in its initial public offering documents. The Federal Trade Commission has launched the investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter, and has already begun collecting information from at least two of the social network’s largest competitors: Google and Twitter. Bloomberg News Facebook’s initial public offering has so far generated lower-than-expected demand from institutional investors who are concerned about the company’s growth prospects, people with knowledge of the matter said. Some investors expressed reluctance after Facebook said on May 9 that advertising growth hasn’t kept pace with the increase in users, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. PC Magazine Facebook will roll out file-sharing among Facebook Groups, allowing non-copyrighted files to be shared directly between members. It’s unclear, however, what this means for Docs.com, a partnership between Microsoft’s Fuse Labs and Facebook that has suffered numerous outages over the past few months.

Time Breast-Feeding Cover Heats Up on Social Media (USA Today)
Social media platforms are buzzing about the provocative Time magazine cover showing a Los Angeles mother breast-feeding her 3-year-old son. The story is on “attachment parenting,” a trend that, Time reports, has been on the rise over the past two decades.

InfamousT Saved From Suicide By Twitter Followers (The Huffington Post)
A Twitter user has her followers to thank for saving her life. The 47-year-old London-based transexual video producer “infamousT” began posting troubling tweets late on May 8 and, at around 7 p.m., told her followers to “get ready for a real-time suicide,” reports The Week.

California Assembly Votes to Keep Facebook Passwords Private from Employers (Los Angeles Times)
California is one step closer to becoming one of the first states to ban companies from asking job seekers and workers for their usernames and passwords on Facebook and other social networking websites. The state Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that would make anything workers designate as private on social networks off limits to employers.

Twitter Buys Personalized Email Marketer RestEngine To Deliver Best Tweet Digests (TechCrunch)
Twitter has just finalized a deal to acquire RestEngine, a developer of personalized email marketing services, which could help Twitter deliver email digests of tweets you’ve missed. Three of four founders will be joining the flock, and the company’s technology will come along with it.

For Mother’s Day, Social Media Allows a More Personalized Ad Pitch (The New York Times/Media Decoder)
For marketers seeking to cash in on Mother’s Day 2012, the focus is on social, as in social media. The ability of social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube to promote ads with emotional elements tailored to consumers is generating increasing interest on Madison Avenue.

Groupon Expands Beyond Deals With Rewards Program (GigaOM)
Groupon wants to be known for more than just deals. It is launching a free loyalty program called Groupon Rewards for U.S. consumers and merchants, part of a bigger effort to become the “operating system for local commerce,” as Groupon CEO Andrew Mason put it earlier this week.

Spotify Launches Two Matchmaking Apps That Let You Judge Your Dates by Their Taste in Music (Social Times)
If you love music and you love love, here are two new apps from Spotify that can help you discover both. Tastebuds matches Spotify users based on which songs are in their collections of playlists and by the artists they play the most. With Fellody, users can drag and drop their Spotify playlists into the app to find friends and potential love interests who are currently into the same things.

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