Facebook and Microsoft tie up to offer 'social search'

By Sarah Shearman, brandrepublic.com, Thursday, 14 October 2010 11:45AM

Facebook and Microsoft's Bing have tied up in the US to make search "more social", in a bid to challenge Google's share of the search market.

Facebook: teaming up with Microsoft to offer social search

Facebook: teaming up with Microsoft to offer social search

When a user searches for something on Bing or in the web results on Facebook, which are powered by Bing, an image of their friends who have liked that item on Facebook will appear next to it in the search results.

Bing has also enhanced its search for individuals, by making the results based on the user’s Facebook contacts. This means that if a user searches for an individual, friends or mutual friends will show up higher in the results.

Facebook said in a blog post: "Everyday most of us make decisions with the input from people we trust and this is a way to bring friends’ recommendations to online search."

The partnership is only in the US, and no timeline has been given as to when the changes will roll out in the UK.

In September, Google unveiled its search tool Google Instant, which presents updated results as each letter of a search term is typed, reducing search time. Google Instant has been heralded by industry experts as an innovation that will change the nature of natural search by making it more relevant to users.

In August, Google had an 86.4% share of the search market in the UK, compared to Bing's 4.6%, according to figures from ComScore. Yahoo! is slightly ahead of Bing with a 4.9% share of the market.

However ComScore data shows that in the US, Microsoft sites had a greater share of the market than in the UK, at 11.7% for August.

Google has a smaller share of the market in the US compared to the UK, at 65.5%, and Yahoo! sites had a 16.7% market share.

This article was first published on brandrepublic.com

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