The social sidebar appears in the third column of results on a Bing page. The concept comes from the idea that you’ll be interested in hearing what your friends have to say about a particular subject. If you don’t have friends, the space might be filled with results from experts.
Facebook is the priority return, but the social sidebar also pulls results from Twitter, Foursquare, Quora, Klout, Google+.
Starting today, you will see an average of five times more Facebook content in the sidebar, “including status updates, shared links, comments and photos from your friends.”
They’ve also made it easier to view linked content such as photos. Click on one and it expands to the full page with the discussion down the right side. (The way Facebook does it.) The downside is that it’s tricky to get back to your search results. Closing the photo sent me to a page with other photos from my friends. As I clicked around, I was amazed, and not in a good way, by the amount of content coming from my friends’ Facebook feeds.
Bing also did some housekeeping, left justifying the results so they line up better and they added a +See All button that doubles the results.
Of course, to see these results, you have to connect your Bing account to your Facebook account, but Bing wants to assure you, they will respect your privacy. Which is a funny concept seeing as how their search spiders are combing through everything your friends have ever said. Maybe you shouldn’t try Binging your own name. . . . or you might find out who your friends really are.
I bravely searched my own name and here’s what came up in the social sidebar:
Cynthia Boris has scored 525 on BallsBreaker. Do you have the guts to beat that Score?
Not sure what to make of that. . . . .