(JESSICA MINTZ, AP/Huffington Post) SEATTLE -- Microsoft is starting to incorporate what your friends do on Facebook right into its Bing search engine.
A new feature rolling out Wednesday will start showing what Facebook friends "like" on the search results page.
On Facebook and sites around the Web, people can click a "like" button to show support or share information with friends. On Bing, if you search for a topic in the news, articles friends have shared on Facebook might appear. Restaurants and movies that friends have "liked" could help you decide what to do on your next date.
Microsoft has been working with Facebook since 2006.
The feature could help distinguish Bing from Google, which only has access to information users make public.
Bing wrote in a blog post about the new features that the goal with the new "Liked Results" feature is to "[demonstrate] our commitment to user privacy." For example, the feature will be opt-in, rather than opt-out: "You will be notified that we will be enhancing your Bing experience before we actually do it, with an opportunity to say "disable" or to go and learn more before you decide if you want to take advantage of the feature," Bing explained. In addition, "People will only see Facebook Profile Search results for people in their Facebook network when signed into Facebook. "
Here's what people are saying about the new feature:
ReadWriteWeb: So far, these new capabilities in Bing look quite similar to Google Social, which also integrates results from your Twitter and Google Buzz friends on the search results page.
Search Engine Land: Facebook Like data is now being used to improve search results, but not in the way that some anticipated. It's also not really being done at Facebook itself but rather at Bing. Moreover, it currently doesn't produce anything near to a generational leap in search, not yet. And should it get there, potentially Google could still do the same. [...] But make no mistake. I like this. I like it a lot.
CNET: Zuckerberg and Mehdi confirmed that Bing is not sending search data back to Facebook, meaning that your Facebook friends won't know what you're searching for on Bing.
Screenshot via Search Engine Land