Following last week’s confirmation that Facebook had hired a prominent PR firm in a smear campaign against Google, the social networking company has now announced an alignment with Microsoft.
The concept is termed by Bing as “bring(ing) the Friend Effect to search.” The Friend Effect was found in Microsoft research, which, reported by USA Today, has some bearing on the way consumers make decisions. According to Microsoft research, 90% of survey participants indicated that they seek advice from friends and family before making a decision. Additionally, 80% of respondents expressed that they would even delay a decision until they were able to gain approval.
With this information in mind, Microsoft’s Bing and Facebook have teamed up to embed Facebook elements into Bing search results and make online searching more social. Each user will receive personalized results based on who their friends are and what their friends like. As reported by Bloomberg, things like restaurants, brands, and shared links Liked by friends will appear in search results.
TIME also adds that users can now Like things with the click of one button in the optional Bing bar and geo data will share information about where your Facebook friends live. Bloomberg expands upon this geo data, noting that if a user Likes a city on Bing Travel, Bing will make sure to send flight deals to the user’s Facebook feed. For those concerned about privacy, Bloomberg reports that the new features will not display information from friends who have set their Facebook accounts to be private.
While Google does not currently have an alliance with Facebook, there has been no word yet whether the relationship between Microsoft and the social networking giant will be exclusive. Although numerous Google social networking endeavors have missed the mark, the company is currently pushing its Social Circles product. This product users Twitter data to provide information based on what their friends have shared.
Despite Google having 65.4% market share according to April’s ComScore, Bing and Yahoo are slowly gaining momentum with 14.1% and 15.9%, respectively. With this new Microsoft-Facebook social search alliance, Google may need to work a little bit harder to keep its place at the top.