If you'll recall
, Google has been pushing social integration into its search algorithm quite aggressively for the past few months; lest we forget the versatile +1 button
. Not to be out done by Team Google's spider-crawling and link-snatching ways, Microsoft has announced full-on Facebook integration for Bing. They're referring to it as, the "Friend Effect." So, what's the difference?
While Google's approach aggregates its standard search results with shared content from the social networks you've manually linked to your account, Bing's approach relies upon the ol' Facebook "Like" button. Basically, Microsoft found that most people usually want opinions from friends and family before they make a decision on something. So by including friends' and families' Facebook-based Likes in the search results the company lets you know their input without ever having to ask. At the same time, Microsoft has added a universal like button to the Bing Toolbar that you can use to mark your approval on anything you find on the web, which in turn, can help out your friends' searches in a socially, antisocial kind of way. Bing uses "Collective IQ" of the internet hive-mind to optimize search results should your friends lack opinions about your interests.
Bing's Friend Effect search integration is pretty interesting stuff, and it could definitely offer a compelling alternative to Google's social search approach if your Facebook "friends" can truly be classified as such. Check out the videos after the break if you want more detail, and be sure to let us know what team you're on in the comments below.