Bing, the runner up search engine behind Google, is taking steps to simplify its design and add social media results into the mix.
Last week, it introduced “related searches,” which shows what other Bing programs are available, including maps and games.
On May 10, some users in the company’s network of 100 million could also view a “what your friends may know” social sidebar, which shows Facebook friends and their recent activities on Bing.
Along with seeing such activity, Bing users will be able to search in the new sidebar. The results will list “Facebook friends, and topic experts who might be able to assist with your query,” according to Mashable. When someone poses a question, their friends and selected experts will receive a notification about the user’s search question.
Bing has previously emphasized that it wants users to help each other to find information, writes Mashable. Already, it displays Facebook likes in search results.
The social sidebar will include Twitter and most likely Google+, eventually. The final result feature three columns, “What the Web Knows,” “What Bing Knows,” and “What Your Friends Know.”
Considering that people are increasingly relying upon and trusting peer reviews online, the social integration into Bing seems like a smart move. If a user searches for a restaurant and sees that his or her friends liked it on Facebook, they will be more likely to go.
The social sidebar could be a great tool for Bing to attract more users, for users to find information, and for businesses to receive more advertising.