The partnership between Microsoft and Facebook was further strengthened this week when the two announced that there would be increased integration of social media into Bing’s organic search results.
Facebook has already been using Bing Maps as the default for Facebook Places, their location check-in feature which launched a couple of months ago. The relationship continues to strengthen as Bing improves “people search” by displaying profiles of users with whom they have a mutual connection with. When searching for people’s names, Bing results will include information from matching Facebook profiles, complete with links to add them as a friend right from search results.
In addition, people who search on Bing will have access to their friends’ recommendations. The Facebook blog shows an example of results that are generated when a user searches for the movie “Iron Man”. “Likes” from the user’s connections are then displayed on the results page below.
This new integration is a small step toward capturing Google’s market share. It may not be enough to make those loyal to the search giant switch search engines; however when searching for movies, restaurants or any other topic where opinions matter, Bing seems to be taking steps in the right direction.