It’s been a long time coming, a truly social search experience. The announcement today of the partnership between Facebook and Bing is just the beginning. This version of social search is a good start but the promise for something greater is still out there.
My team has been speculating, like many other social media practitioners, about what a social search engine in the wild might look like. Today, we got our answer or at least a glimpse at the first real iteration of a social search engine.
The partnership between Facebook and Bing will likely fuel a new debate on what needs to be improved, what works and what doesn’t, and where to go next. But it does offer a very useful social context to searches NOW. Every search will show, if possible, a sample of content your friends have created or liked that is relevant to your search term and will even rank that information in with the other traditional search results. The integration of this Facebook “module” in Bing search results will also be seen in the web results on a Facebook search.
The integration taps into some of the information that is provided by the your social graph including likes, profile information, user photos, and even profiles. This new integration will provide a deeper level of social relevance when searching for things that represents a common interest to you and your friends and it will even make the search for new friends easier. Bing will now be able to provide a more myopic set of filtered results when you search for someone by name. It will reference your connections as well as the connections of your friends in an attempt to find the most targeted matches to your name search. This will make searching for people on Facebook that you have just met offline a little bit easier. You can read more about the details on the integration here from Danny Sullivan.
Though our team is excited for this new integration to come online, we still think the best is yet to come. Facebook and Bing have other integrations on the roadmap for both the near and long term. It will be interesting to see how the service matures over time and even more interesting to see how Google responds.
What are your predictions? What comes next? What will Google do to answer this news?