Microsoft’s Bing search engine launched its social sidebar last month and the company has been adding features and support for additional social networks ever since. The core of Bing’s social efforts, however, is its Facebook integration and the company today announced a nice new feature for Facebook users on Bing. The social sidebar already allowed users to ask their Facebook friends questions right from Bing, but with today’s update, Bing is also allowing users to tag up to five of their friends whenever they ask a question. This, says Microsoft, will allow you “to effortlessly tap into the collective wisdom of your social network, and get input from your friends who are in the know.”
Chances are, after all, that you already know which ones of your friends are most likely to be able to answer your questions about a restaurant or event. Now, you can make sure that these friends will definitely see your question from Bing in their Facebook stream.
Overall, this is just a small update, but it clearly shows that Microsoft continues to invest in improving Bing’s social features. Just two weeks ago, for example, Bing added support for Foursquare tips to Bing. The company clearly believes that its users are looking for social search, but so far, Microsoft hasn’t shared any data about how its users (and how many of them) are using these new social features.
According to Compete, Bing currently owns almost 19% of the U.S. search engine market and both its market share and overall query volume on the site continue to grow at a steady clip.