Microsoft just added results from Foursquare to its social sidebar on Bing. This, says Microsoft, is the first time the company has added a new sidebar integration since it launched its Bing redesign earlier this year. This new integration will bring tips and recommendations from Foursquare to the social sidebar on the right hand side of Bing’s search results pages. This, says Microsoft, will allow you to “find people who are knowledgeable about the place you’re searching, based on what they’ve publicly shared on foursquare.”
This feature will start rolling out today. For the time being, it will only be available in the U.S.
According to the Bing team, the tips that this new integration surfaces are based on the venue you are looking for and your currently location.
The sidebar already featured data from Twitter, blogs and other social sites before, but Foursquare is the first dedicated location-based network to be tightly integrated into Microsoft’s search engine. Microsoft says that it is on a monthly release schedule with Bing, so chances are we will continue to see new integrations go live over the course of the year.
With its redesign, Bing obviously started putting a strong focus on social search results. Casting as wide a net as possible should make for a better social search experience and its good to see Bing adding more networks.
While Google, despite its focus on Google+, seems to be slowly moving back to a stronger emphasis on algorithmic results, Bing is betting that social search can often provide its users with more relevant information. Unlike Google, though, Bing has the advantage of having access to data from Facebook, Twitter and a number of other partners. Compared to Google, which mostly shows results from its own Google+ network right now, this gives Bing a vastly larger repository of social networking data to work with.