Microsoft's updated Bing search enging goes live in the U.S. today, featuring a new design along with social features.
Bing brings together search with people from social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.
Whether it's making a purchase, choosing a restaurant or deciding what movie to see, the new Bing design focuses on ways to bring friends and experts right into the search experience. These social results, found in the right column and called sidebar, complement the standard search results, offering searchers the chance to start a conversation and get advice from friends, experts and enthusiasts right within the search experience. Bing shows which friends have liked or might know about content related to the query and will identify experts and enthusiasts that can provide recommendations on the topic of interest. In addition, users can post a question and get help from their Facebook friends while they search, friends cansee and reply to their questions on Facebook or Bing, and they can follow the activity feed to see their friends? queries and posts in real time.
Bing also makes it easy to get things done in one place with the new center column, called snapshot. It includes information, such as maps and reviews, and quick ways to take action. The new Bing offers restaurant reservations, hotel reviews, movie trailers and show times, maps.
Microsoft has been working closely with Facebook since it bought a stake in the social network in 2007.
Twitter also has been selling Microsoft expanded access to its tweets since 2009.
Google lost its special privileges to the same stream of data last summer because Twitter didn't renew a licensing agreement.
Despite Microsoft's massive investments in search, Bing hasn't been able to ding Google so far.