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Microsoft Revamps Bing to Integrate Social Web

Microsoft Revamps Bing to Integrate Social Web

Microsoft has announced a revamped version of its Bing search engine, which will allow for a more organised retrieval of information and incorporate social media into its results.

The new design, which is the biggest overhaul of Bing so far, was revealed at a press event in San Francisco this week by Microsoft's top search executive Qi Lu.

The most noticeable change to the Bing search interface is the introduction of a "Sidebar", which contains relevant posts from your Facebook and Twitter contacts during your search results.

One of the key features of this sidebar is the Ask Friends function, which allows users to "tag" certain Facebook friends, whom Bing suggests might be able to help with their search query. The sidebar will also post relevant tweets from users who are considered to be an authority on the subject you are searching for.

In a blog post about the sidebar feature, Bing said: "The sidebar will appear as part of every query, but it will remain off to the right, allowing searchers to decide when and how to interact with it."

This latest Bing revamp is an interesting development, and has no doubt been launched in response to Google integrating Google+ data into its search results. This move was met by intense criticism from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, so perhaps Bing, which is a small shareholder in Facebook, has seen this as an ideal opportunity to try and increase its foothold in the search industry, and claw back some of the market share from Google.

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