And Facebook's reach grows bigger...
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced this week it is revamping its Bing search engine to include content from Facebook and other social media platforms.
The move introduces a new sidebar to Bing, which aims to connect users with friends and other aficionados who can provide help, assistance and advice related to the performed search.
The Redmond, WA-based Microsoft said the foray is based on the fact that "90% of people consult with a friend or expert before making a decision."
The venture will hopefully give Bing some bang. Data reveals that Bing has about 15% of the U.S. search market, while Internet search behemoth Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) commands a 66% portion. Microsoft is hoping many will likethe new element and it will entice people to favor Bing when Web searching.
The new service will appear to the right of all search results, and will highlight a feature dubbed Friends Who Might Know.
Microsoft wrote on its blog, "Bing suggests friends on Facebook who might know about the topic-based on what they "like," their Facebook profile information, or photos they have shared so you can easily ask them about relevant experiences and opinions. For example, if you're searching for diving spots in Costa Rica...you may discover that one of your friends knows a great spot, based on photos from their last trip."
Bing will also flag other topic "specialists," identified from their posts on Google's social network Google+, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn and Quora.
The feature will roll out shortly in the United States, according to Microsoft. The company did not comment about other locations.