In its latest move to gain further market share in internet search, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has rolled out social search features in its Bing search engine. The social data is sourced from Facebook, the world's largest and most popular social network, and includes links friends have recommended.
Bing users who are searching for a news story, a movie or a hotel are able to see if their friends have 'liked' it on Facebook.
Microsoft research found that 90% of people surveyed seek advice from friends and family before making a decision. By enhancing Bing search results with Facebook connections, the software company is hoping to leverage such relationships to deliver more relevant search answers.
The additional features were announced on the official Bing blog on Monday. Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President, Bing & MSN at Microsoft, commented: "Today, Bing is bringing the collective IQ of the Web together with the opinions of the people you trust most, to bring the “Friend Effect” to search".
Since launching Bing in June 2009, Microsoft has built the product into a credible alternative to Google. Combined with traffic from a search agreement with Yahoo!, Bing now carries about 30% of searches in the US, according to ComScore.