Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bing Now Helps You Make Decisions With Your Facebook Friends: New social features infuse search with the “friend effect” to enable smarter decisions [Microsoft PressPass]

More examples of new Bing/Facebook capabilities

Microsoft data shows that nearly half of people surveyed say seeing their friends’ likes within search results could help them make better decisions, and who better than a group of trusted friends to guide everyday decision-making? The new features of Bing make this possible:

  • Liked results, answers and sites. Cut right to the good stuff, by seeing what stories, content and sites friends have liked right in the search results. Planning a trip to Napa Valley, for example, can be overwhelming with hundreds of wineries to choose from — luckily, the likes of friends can narrow the choices on which vineyards are must-sees.
  • Personalized results. Bing personalizes the search experience by surfacing content friends have liked from deep within search results to the top of the page. Because most people don’t go beyond page one of the results, they might be missing the best information.

But it’s not just friends who can help out. There’s also value in the larger brain trust of the Web. Bing now brings the collective IQ of people to decision-making online when friends may not have the right expertise or a person may not know exactly what they’re looking for:

  • Popular sites. See collective like results related to trending topics, articles and Facebook fan pages to find the most popular content. When searching a recipe site, for example, see what articles on the site people have liked to help find the perfect recipe for dinner.
  • Social messages. Searchers also can benefit from knowing what major brands and companies are sharing on Facebook. For example, when planning a vacation and searching for a rental car, Bing will show recent Facebook posts alerting people to a new deal at the top of the results.

Many decisions require a discussion with friends. By combining Facebook’s communication tools with Bing, search can become conversational — taking decision-making on Bing from a passive experience to an active dialogue. The vision of Bing is to combine the power of discovery with the empowerment of conversation:

  • Expanded Facebook profile search. Sometimes people need a friend right away, and Bing now lets them hit the fast-forward button to the right Facebook friends. Now when people search for a specific person, Bing provides a more in-depth bio snapshot, such as location, education and employment details, to help them find the person they’re looking for more quickly.
  • Friends who live here. Traveling to a new city and looking for recommendations on where to eat or stay? Easily find and consult friends who live or have lived near a destination.
  • Flight Deals. Perhaps the best conversation is one that helps save money. Flight Deals will automatically send people airfare deals via Facebook for cities they have liked, enabling them to find out about the latest deals.
  • Shared shopping lists. For shopping purchases, easily build, share and discuss shopping lists with friends, getting them to weigh in on purchases — before buying.

More detailed information about the new features is available on the Bing blog at

http://www.bing.com/community/site_blogs/b/search/archive/2011/05/16/news-announcement-may-17.aspx.

Bing Now Helps You Make Decisions With Your Facebook Friends: New social features infuse search with the “friend effect” to enable smarter decisions.

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