SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft on Thursday announced that its search engine Bing will integrate information from social networking sites into search results.
According to Bing’s official blog, the new Bing search result page will be a three-column design. The largest column, covering the left half of the page, will be core web results, which is the traditional list of blue links related to users’ search query.
The center column, which is called Snapshot, provides relevant information and services, such as maps, restaurant reservations and reviews.
The right column is the social results called Sidebar, featuring information from one’s Facebook friends who may have some insights about the search query. It only works when users sign into both Facebook and Microsoft’s Windows Live.
For example, a search for Seattle bookstores will show Facebook friends who live in Seattle under the heading “Friends Who Might Know” and a list of people who have “liked” some Seattle bookstores on Facebook. Searchers can also connect with those Facebook users directly from the Bing page.
Under the heading “People Who Know,” searchers can also find people who are influential about the topic they are searching from public posts of leading social networks such as Twitter, Foursquare, Quora, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
Bing is not the first to integrate social networking results into search. In January, Google introduced “Search Plus Your World, ” bringing relevant content from its social network Google Plus to the Google search results.