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Microsoft adds social networking to Bing


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Bing.com/social offers Facebook and Twitter links

Microsoft has added social networking features to its Bing search service, which the firm claims could speed up office productivity by making it easier to find specific information.

Bing.com/social was unveiled at the SMX Advanced 2010 event in Seattle, and Microsoft said that search results will include tweets and Facebook items such as unofficial fan sites.

"For example, searching for 'World Cup' will show what links Facebook users are sharing on the topic, with a caption extracted from the original article shown below the link," wrote Lawrence Kim, from the Bing Social Search group, in a blog post.

"When we don't have an interesting caption to show, we sometimes display how many users have shared that link."

Links from Facebook will be kept fairly anonymous to mitigate privacy concerns, and Kim said that no names or photos will be published in the results.

The Bing homepage has also had a tweak, and will show 'trending topics' such as posts relating to a hot news item.

This could be used by companies to follow their competitors, or to assess how people react to a topic close to their own organisation. Aiding this will be related information provided by Bing.

"For each trending topic, we also show information about why it's trending, a snippet of results from our social corpus followed by query refiners on the bottom," said Kim.

Microsoft plans to add more social features to the site in the coming months.

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