Should search be social? Microsoft's Bing says yes and is introducing a new feature that will bring more information from your Facebook friends into your search results.
Bing will now add "liked" results from Facebook into search results. If you're making a decision about what kind of phone to buy, but are no gadgets wizard, Bing's results will show not just the pages and stories your friends have liked, but the sites they've liked relating to that topic.
"The main focus is we want to bring the power of the people to Bing," Bing Director Stefan Weitz told The Huffington Post. "It's this notion of bring your trusted friends along with you when you're searching. You rely on your friends in the real world to make decisions big and small every day, and we think you should be able to bring them into your search experience for the same kind of help."
Bing's announcement is a move towards a more personalized search: results that could have been buried five pages down might now show up in the first ten, depending on whether or not your friends have liked them. In addition to results from friends, Bing also collates the preferences of the rest of Facebook's population to bring in broadbased affirmation into the equation. Sites that are especially well-liked will also display popular content from that site in the search result of that site.
The social integration goes further than simply taking the "like" function into search by adding input from big brands. For example, a search for travel to Hawaii might bring in recent deals that United Airlines has recently promoted.
To take it a step further, Bing's new social search is trying to create conversation through Facebook and search results.
If you're looking at three dresses you like, you might be able to post them to Facebook to get input from friends, so that search and social enter into a dialogue with each other rather than remaining separate. If you don't want to share "likes" with friends, Bing will also allow you to control what you're sharing.
Check it out below: