Bing announced another launch and redesign of their search engine today. After making their search results cleaner and more accessible last week, Bing is turning its focus to a social search experience. So, what is Bing offering besides new PPC advertising and display marketing tactics? Over the next few weeks, before Bing officially goes live with the changes, a new three column design called Core Search, Snapshot and Sidebar panes. Today, we will be focusing on the new Social Sidebar.
Perhaps Bing’s most exciting and worthwhile change is their new social sidebar. Whenever you do a search (depending on how relevant Bing decides the search is) you will trigger a list of elements that correlate to your social network. The four elements that go into the search inquiry are these listed: Ask Friends, Friends Who Might Know, People Who Know, Activity Feed. So what the heck do these even mean? Let’s dive down a little bit further.
Friends Who Might Know
When signed into your Facebook account, Bing will capture all of your friends’ interests and will suggest a variety of friends that might know about the subject you are looking for. For example, if I did a search for Pictures of San Diego, Bing could possibly go through your friends’ pictures and find tags that relate to San Diego.
After performing your search, a box that’s connected to your Facebook account will ask if you want to ask your friends the same question. This is similar to “status updates”, but is now shown as a “question asked.”
People Who Know
So far, Facebook has been the only talked about network, so what if you wanted to use Bing’s rival Google +? Easy, since Google + consists of public pages then the profiles are free to crawl. When conducting a People Who Know search, Bing goes through not only your friend’s profiles but through every profile until it finds a list of People Who Know.
Activity is interesting because this is a continuous running feed of questions that you asked or have been asked by those you know. This is similar to status feeds or tweets from people you are following on Twitter.
In all these are some pretty cool changes that will officially be seen within the next few days to weeks.