For years now Bing has literally been able to kick Google’s butt in social search due to arrangements with Facebook (there was that little $250 million investment way back when after all) and Twitter (which was last renewed in 2011).
The problem that always faces Bing though is that no matter how hard they try and, more often than we give them credit for, succeed in providing better experience in some areas of search than Google, they just can’t break the 30% of search market share barrier.
Well, at least one part of the above will continue. Bing and Twitter have announced they will continue to work together. Details are a bit murky since the post that many other media outlets have referred to on the Bing site is no longer in existence. Regardless of that, if you want to search social using Bing and look for Tweets in particular you still can. Your results look something like this.
So why doesn’t something this potentially powerful really help Bing?
The answer is likely two fold.
First, is that the Google habit is very hard to break and most are too uninformed or lazy to even consider it. This wouldn’t be the first time in business history that a product or service that has some better attributes than the market leader can’t get past a certain point in the market. Let’s face it, when you become a verb like Google has, it’s hard to fall from grace (although not at all impossible).
Second, is the one that most social media types will hate to consider. That is that searching social media just isn’t that important to people. Using it on a daily basis is hugely important and is likely to continue to be so but using it for research or just to get more information may not be how the masses will use social. Will there be a subset who find searching social valuable? Absolutely but their numbers, at least at this point in time, may not be enough for Bing to move the competitive needle against Google any more than it has already.
To be completely transparent, I didn’t even realize the Bing social search existed as a separate site. I may have heard it in the past but it didn’t impact me enough to make it part of life. Now, as a sales guy it is more intriguing so now it might get some more work but that remains to be seen. oftentimes the information on Twitter quite simply sucks from a practical standpoint so we’ll see how this goes.
Do you use Bing social search? Are you happy about the continued ability to search Twitter somewhere else other than Twitter? If Google had this capability would Twitter become more important because of the size of the user base of Google?
So many questions. Do you have any answers?