Microsoft announced the deployment of two new Facebook social-search features for Bing, which enhance search results with friends' input.
's new Facebook
social-search features are now deployed, according to Microsoft. Those same
features will also activate for Web results on Facebook, which are powered by
Those features include Liked Results, which displays the
Websites and links "liked" by a Facebook user's friends. For example, if you
search in Bing for "The Social Network," your friends' Facebook profile images
will appear next to the results they liked. "You can lean on friends to figure
out the best Websites for your search," the Facebook Blog explained Oct. 13, when
the features were first announced
The other new feature, Facebook Profile Search, factors into
searches for specific people. For example, typing in a name like "John Smith"
will now leverage your Facebook connections. "Those with whom you have mutual
friends will now show up first," Facebook explained at the time. "Bing is also
making more prominent the ability to add these people as friends on Facebook
directly from Bing."
According to the Bing team, the tighter integration with
Facebook came as a result of users' requests.
"Early users told us that they expected the same access to
their friends inside Bing as they already have inside Facebook," Paul Yiu,
Bing's group program manager, wrote
in a Nov. 2 posting on the Bing Community blog
. "This surfaced as some
dissatisfaction with the way features were working." In particular, "people
were disappointed when they did not see their friends show up in their
The Bing team also took Facebook's privacy controversies
into account, moving to assure users that the Facebook-enhanced social features
will not expose their personal data to the larger Web.
"Bing's -Liked Results,' for example, will surface content
that is designated as -public' and linked to a person's Facebook friends," Yiu
wrote in another Bing Community blog posting, coauthored with Bing Director of
Product Management Todd Schwartz, and
updated Nov. 2
. "This is the same information someone could access by
viewing their Facebook network directly, except it adds relevancy by being
presented alongside -traditional' Bing search results."
In addition, "people will only see Facebook Profile Search
results for people in their Facebook network when signed into Facebook." Those
same users will "only see -like' information from their Facebook friends."
Those who don't want their Bing experience Facebook-enhanced, apparently, also
have the ability to disable the features.
Facebook friends cannot see a user's searches. "Bing only
connects with your Facebook network to bring you the content they have -liked'
and the people in your network you know," Yiu and Schwartz wrote. "Your search
information is not shared back with your Facebook network."