Are you ready for the “new Bing”? Microsoft is updating their search engine and the upgrades include a revamped design with three panels, an increased amount of social information and a snapshot feature that lets you preview the results. The sidebar is especially interesting, as it directly interfaces with Facebook and allows users to ask their friends questions about a given search query.
The sidebar allows for more than just simple social interactions on Facebook. The sidebar will help you see people that are influential in your given search topic area. You’ll see experts from Twitter, Foursquare, Quora, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Blogger. That’s a pretty impressive list of social connections, and to be frank, something I search for pretty often.
The sidebar also shows specific posts that you and your friends have shared from Bing. That is, if you see a link you like and share it from Bing, it’s part of the Bing stream which can help you find what your friends are interested in pretty quickly. You can also comment on this information with ease. Take a look below to see a long launch announcement featuring a guy who looks like that guy from Parks and Recreation if he was big in the 80s. Enjoy!
Overall, the integration is definitely heavily focused on Facebook. Is this an integration that hints at Microsoft having an even bigger stake than its current investment in the future? That rumor’s been around for years, but I personally try to keep an eye on upgrades like this. This new Bing relies heavily on Facebook, and that’s a vulnerable position for Microsoft, so I would be surprised if they didn’t have a standing offer for old Zuckerberg, in case the IPO doesn’t go so hot.
Unfortunately, the revamp isn’t available yet where I am, but once it is we’ll have a deeper review. Read more at the Bing blog.