Microsoft brought Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg to the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters for a big announcement about the new integration of Bing and the social network. The goal of the collaboration between the social media giant and the search engine underdog is to create a better search experience by using the Facebook “like” data of your friends to personalize your search results. This expands the Facebook empire and gives Microsoft’s Bing a leg-up in its goal of taking market share from Google.
For example, if you are searching for a restaurant on Bing, the Facebook module on the left side of the screen will highlight restaurants that your friends have “liked” through Facebook or one of the 2 million sites that use the “like” button. In addition to attempting to personalize your general searches, Bing and Facebook are also looking to improve people search. If a user searches for “Michael Buckley,” the Facebook module is smart enough to put the Facebook profile of the “Michael Buckley” that his or her friends know above the ones they don’t.
Zuckerberg was asked at the gathering whether Facebook would partner with other search engines in a similar way. The Facebook CEO left the option open but hinted that Microsoft was the first because of their willingness to innovate and take risks.
Bing users will see the effect of the Facebook partnership starting Wednesday.