May 11, 2012 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Bing has re-launched its search engine with a ‘social’ face. In the coming days the users in the United States will see and experience the ‘New Bing’; and the changes will roll out globally in  the coming few weeks. Those wanting to experience the changes can head here.

In a nutshell, this re-launch of Bing is to incorporate social into search in a seamless manner. That is why the results will show up with a new sidebar area teeming with social elements. The thought behind the New Bing, as stated by Microsoft is, “The new Bing introduces brand new information architecture with a three column design that focuses on bringing you information from the web to help you take action and interact with friends and experts without compromising the core search experience.”

Bing 1

1. The Social Sidebar

Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Quora, LinkedIn, Google+, Skype, Blogger- you name the social platform, it is there on the new social sidebar. This is the center of ‘all things social’ on Bing search. Your searches can be completely private as Bing has explained, “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. We’ve moved most of the social content out of the main search pane and put it in a dedicated place where people can always expect to find it.”

The sidebar will have four features:

  • Ask Friends
  • Friends Who Might Know
  • People Who Know
  • Activity 

Ask Friends:

This ‘Ask Friends’ functionality is powered by the Bing-Facebook partnership. Now, users can literally ask questions from their Facebook friends from the Bing sidebar. For instance, if you put in a query about a country, then Bing would give you suggestions if a Facebook friend would know the answers to it. You can also share the question on Facebook and your friends can answer on Bing or on Facebook. You can post a question to get help from your Facebook friends as you search. You can also tag those friends specifically who are suggested by Bing as probably knowing the answer/issue.

Friends Who Might Know:

As can be gathered from the name of this feature, Bing will suggest friends on Facebook who might know about your search query. For instance, if you search about- ‘California’ then suggested friends will be those who have ‘Liked’ the pages related to California on Facebook or they have something to do with California (live there) or have California photos. The idea here is to get advice from friends as you search. Privacy is secured here as you and your friends can only see information you could already see about each other on Facebook.


People Who Know:

Want to know what the experts think about the new mobile phone you like? Then the third feature- ‘People Who Know’ can help you. Here Bing will show the names of experts, enthusiasts, and influential writers who have blogged or tweeted on the topic you are searching for. You can click on the expert’s name from the sidebar and go to their blog or follow them on Twitter.


In this feature of the sidebar, you can see all activities happening in real time. This means you can see the posts, answer friends' questions, and Like posts. Your string of activities will be shown on both Bing and Facebook.

Bing 5

2. Core Web Results:

Bing recently got a new search results page which aimed at de-cluttering the entire results page. Now the ‘New Bing’ will show ‘Relevant, comprehensive and trustworthy’ results. So, when you are looking to get work done seriously, Bing will present you with un-cluttered and relevant results to focus on. These results will not have any social signals and will be relevant organic results.

Bing 2

Here, users will find core listings without the “unnecessary links” and social network results.

3. Snapshot

The search results have a Snapshot column which will tell searchers about certain places like restaurants, hotels, businesses, and movies. So type in a movie name and you will get all the details- of the shows, timings, bookings, phone number, maps, and reviews. This venture is supported by partnerships with companies like Yelp, Open Table, and Fansnap.

Bing 3

As Bing further explained their purpose, “We’ve run thousands of experiments to determine the types of tasks most frequently attempted in Bing, and in snapshot we help you take certain actions when we determine that the intent of your search matches these tasks.”

Bing has also released a video about the three columns of search and the new features.

What do you think of these changes? Do share your views.

Presenting the ‘New Bing’ With a Social Sidebar & 3 Column Search Results!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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