Bing rolls out social search redesign, US gets it first

Someone’s been a busy boy haven’t they Microsoft? Just a day after launching the latest preview of Windows 8, the Redmond-based software giant rolled out its new social search function in the US.

The new three column design sees social media feeds from sites like Facebook and Twitter incorporated into a new social side bar on search results pages. The bar includes relevant posts from people you’re following using your social accounts (assuming you’re signed in at the time), as well as suggestions from experts that Bing thinks could answer your question.

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The redesigned pages will also include something Microsoft is calling ‘snapshot’ in the middle column: essentially an area where Bing compiles the most relevant contextual information to answer your query (like maps, directions, reviews, photos, prices and booking information) from sites like Yelp, OpenTable and FanSnap.

“We’re evolving search in a way that recognizes new user paradigms like the growth of the social graph, and will empower people with the broad knowledge of the Web alongside the help of their friends,” said Qi Lu, president of Microsoft’s Online Services Division when the changes were first announced.

The roll out coincides with the launch of a “search plus social” campaign that demonstrates how the new features might be used.

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