It’s a match that seems incredibly logical – search results combined with social networking. It falls into that category of “why didn’t somebody think of this sooner?” But this perfect marriage is not between the players I would expect – Google and Facebook – it’s between Bing and Facebook. Might it be time for me to change my preferred search to Bing?!
With the new Bing/Facebook partnership announced yesterday, you can now use the Bing search engine to search for friends (and view the Facebook profile and search results at the same time!), see if friends like the topic you are searching for, or find your friends’ feedback on a specific topic. The power is of course the social aspect. If you are researching a product online and you see that your friend likes it, wouldn’t that make you more inclined to buy it compared to another option? What about when planning a trip? If your friend loved Istanbul, but you see negative comments from a friend about Paris, my guess is you will lean towards a visit to Turkey.
Take a look at the video from Bing to see the basics on how it will work:
E.B Boyd from FastCompany.com is predicting that this announcement will upend the search business, and he very well may be right. The new social search function from the Bing and Facebook partnership seems to just be the beginning of what is possible. As Boyd points out in his post, social searching has the potential to have a huge impact on companies, forcing them to really engage their costumers positively and creators of content are going to have to work harder to build a network around that content to be found.
As always, when you combine anything with social networking, privacy is a concern, so be sure to check your privacy settings on Facebook and ensure you are comfortable with how people can find you and what they can see.
I’m excited about this – bring on the social search!