Microsoft Bing has gone with Facebook and Twitter and has ditched Google
In order to intensify its struggle against Google, Microsoft has launched a major update to its Bing search engine. The Redmond software giant has added more innovative capabilities to Bing to make it a smarter, interactive and social platform for searches. Based on the recent survey results that a huge share of users search internet to ‘do’ something rather than ‘find’ something, Microsoft has updated its web search engine to satisfy the requirements of the new generation web users. The Bing update is currently available only to developers. It will be broadly available in the U.S. by June only, Microsoft says.
The new update, the most significant one since Bing’s release three years back, will entirely change the way you use the search engine, Microsoft claims. The base of the new update is that Bing will get many social media features, which Google recently added to its search pages connecting with its Google+ social media platform. Instead of adding a single social media site, the Bing update is to come with the integration of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare and many others. It means that Microsoft has made a clear goal of competing with Google in web search arena.
“People can easily get advice and recommendations from friends and experts with the new social sidebar. They can also view useful, action-oriented information via the new snapshot feature. And they can find what they are looking for faster, with more relevant results and a refreshed user interface,” the Redmond firm says in its press release.
After the celebrated update, for a search query, Bing will present you a three-pane search result page. These columns will contain the whole information a user can squeeze up from the web. The outcome will be that apart from ‘finding’ some information, you can ‘do’ many things right on the search result page itself. Well, you can book a hotel, find what your friend on Facebook thinks of a topic, see what your girlfriend may tweet on it and do many other things on just a keyword search. Each of the panes represents ‘Improved Web Results,’ ‘Snapshot’ and ‘Sidebar’ as Microsoft has named them. We elaborate the items below for you.
Improved Web Results: The first pane, as its name tells, is just the normal web results page with some enhanced features. “Consumers can perform traditional web searches faster, with more relevant results using the new, cleaner user interface,” explains Microsoft. The company has made an elaborate update for its web search result page with many interesting and involving features.
Snapshot: Snapshot is the second pane that comes in the middle of the web result page. The Snapshot is meant to let consumers view useful information connected with their search keyboard. See how Microsoft illustrates the Sidebar’s use with an example on its press release. “If a user searches for hotels in San Francisco, for example, in the main search results Bing will surface results for hotels including hotel star ratings, locations and average rates. Snapshot takes it a step further by letting people select check-in and check-out dates, see interior views of the property and read reviews to help them find and book the best hotel in the area.”
Sidebar: It is the third and final pane that comes at the left end of the web search page. The pane will let users “take action based on the recommendations of friends and experts in the sidebar – displayed in a third column, separate from main Web results page,” says the company. It is here users can converse with their friends on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and many others. Of course, it is the most innovative feature with the Bing update; because it is for the first time social media integration comes that broadly on a search engine.