Bing and Facebook tighten relationship with social results

Bing search results are to include links recommended by Facebook friends, following a partnership announced between the social network and Microsoft.

If a user connects their Facebook and Bing accounts, the latter will display relevant results that are ’liked’ by their Facebook friends within the standard set of natural and paid-for links.

It also applies to search results served by Bing within Facebook, and it’s only active in the US at the moment.

Friends are able to ’like’ pages and articles on sites that use Facebook’s Open Graph – its social plug-in launched earlier this year.

The partnership also fine-tunes searches for people on Bing, with those that are mutual friends to a person’s Facebook friends appearing first.

Both companies said it will help search results become more social, using people’s trusted contacts to find new content more easily.

Speaking on the Facebook blog, spokesman Bret Taylor said: “Your friends have ’liked’ lots of things all over the web, and now, instead of stumbling across a new movie or having to look at a friend’s profile to see which restaurants they like, we’re bringing everything together in one place.

“When you search for something on Bing or in web results on Facebook (powered by Bing), you’ll be able to see your friends’ faces next to web pages they’ve liked. So you can lean on friends to figure out the best websites for your search,” he added.

Microsoft and Facebook said results will be populated slowly, and users will be clearly notified of the changes and will be able to turn off the features, which are activated by default.

The deal continues the major search engines’ drive to make their results more social. It comes a month after Bing launched a Twitter feature which recommends people to follow based on search results.

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