Bing‘s social sidebar, which shows relevant entries from your Facebook friends, Twitter, Klout, Quora and other services, just got a lot more interactive. You can now like Facebook posts in the social sidebar and add their own comments. In addition you can now also see all of the existing comments on a post right in the sidebar, too.
This, Microsoft believes, will make the social search experience on Bing even more interactive, engaging and helpful than before.
It also means users don’t have to leave Bing to engage with these posts. Chances are, after all, that they will get distracted by all of the other goodies Facebook has to offer once they leave Bing and won’t return anytime soon.
Personally, I’ve never found these social search results all that useful. Microsoft, however, clearly believes that this, in combination with what they are doing around semantic search, will allow it to continue to compete with Google, which seems to have de-emphasized social search over the last few months.
With its Scroogled campaign and “Bing It On” challenge, Microsoft has obviously been taking a far more aggressive stance against Google in recent months and it’s slowly adding new users. Currently, Google has a market share of about 67 percent in the U.S., and Bing is close to reaching 17 percent.
There have been some recent rumors, however, that Yahoo is looking to drop Bing as its search provider (Yahoo currently commands just under 12 percent of the U.S. search market with its Bing-powered search), but given the long-term deal between the two companies, that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.