A new sidebar will see Microsoft’s Bing search engine deliver news and advice from social media platforms, in an attempt to give people what they clearly want.
Recent research and numerous studies have indicated that people rely on the opinions of friends and subject experts before making a purchase. By collating these advice streams, Microsoft hopes to present a different angle to search results.
The flagship feature is a tool called ‘Friends Who Might Know’ and it is this area that SEO marketers should be targeting their efforts towards.
Following a search term being input by the user, Bing
“suggests friends on Facebook who might know about the topic”
said the Microsoft blog last week. The results will be pulled according to that person’s likes, profile information and photos.
Other experts on the subject matter will also be highlighted according to the relevancy of their content on other platforms, such as Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
To aid the delivery of information to users, Bing will also let questions be put to the friends and experts flagged directly.
It is one of the most significant developments since Microsoft and Facebook became involved with each other back in 2007.
Back then, Microsoft paid the social media giant $240m for a 1.6% share of the company. When Facebook launches on the stock market in a few weeks, that value will soar to over $1bn.
How successful it is will be an interesting development to watch but, if too successful, it could work against Microsoft, with Facebook possibly launching their own search engine.