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Microsoft and Facebook personalize search
week, Microsoft and Facebook teamed up to announce a new form of search.
Now, when you use Microsoft’s Bing search engine, you can choose to
include your Facebook friends’ recommendations – or “likes” – into the
The two tech giants claim that this will make search far
more personal, and therefore more relevant. After all, if we want to
know what movie to see or where to get great Chinese take-out, who do we
ask in real life? Our friends. But instead of picking up the phone and
calling around, we can just type the question into Bing and their
“likes” will be included.
You can also use Bing to search for
people. Say you wanted to track down an old school buddy or look for
someone you just met at a party. Type their name into Bing and it will
search Facebook as well as the wider web. Bing uses the same search
hierarchy that a Facebook search would use: friends, friends of friends,
networks, and then everyone else.
Here’s how you can access this
personalized search tool. If you are logged onto Facebook and visit Bing
using the same browser, a pop-up will appear asking you if you want to
participate. (Some people may not see the feature yet, as it is still
being rolled-out.) If you decline, your search results will be the same
as usual. If you accept, you will start to get the new Facebook-based
In some ways, the new Bing search tool mimics
the “crowd-sourcing” of opinion popularized by some Twitter users. Only
with Bing, you don’t have to wait for a response; you just search for
opinions that have already been expressed.
As our online networks
grow, it makes perfect sense to tap into the knowledge base that they
represent. Instead of just being passive observers of a series of random
posts, we can now leverage that knowledge base for when we need it.
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