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Facebook evolves search with Bing

Facebook has developed new search capabilities that it is calling Graph Search, allowing users to navigate their connections and make them more useful.

Our teams will continue to experiment and innovate towards our shared vision of giving people access to the wisdom of their friends combined with the information available on the web

Derrick Connell, Bing, Microsoft
Available now as a beta, Facebook developers have worked with the Microsoft Bing team to advance the unified search experience.

According to Facebook, there are more than a billion people, more than 240 billion photos and more than a trillion connections on the popular social media site. With Graph Search, there is now a way of effectively searching through all of this information to discover new people, places and things.

“As part of this product, our two engineering teams worked together to advance a unified search experience,” said Derrick Connell, corporate vice president of Search, Bing at Microsoft, in a blog post. “That means that when people want to search beyond Facebook, they see web search results from Bing with social context and additional information such as Facebook pages.”

Facebook users can search for friends according to particular interests they share with the Bing-powered Graph Search

For Facebook users, it means that the added capabilities from Bing will mean they have a lot more information at their fingertips. “To the Facebook user, they will not only see useful results, but we think they will also have serendipitous experiences,” Connell continued. “Imagine searching for Jay-Z concerts on Facebook and not only finding Facebook content, but also web results from Bing including concert tickets, news about the tour and other web results – annotated with Facebook Likes and Shares. We think this is a powerful combination.”

Now that businesses across all industries are considering social media in their marketing campaigns as a way to not only keep up with consumer demand but also learn more about their customers, the new search on Facebook could be a really interesting tool for the enterprise. Social media is now a key marketing tool, and consumers are now judging businesses on their ability to make use of it. According to an Accenture study, 92 per cent of respondents were more inclined to purchase from a company that makes use of social media channels.

Social customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are also increasing in popularity among businesses today, particularly in the retail industry. Such CRM functions allow businesses to track and interpret social media interactions being generated about their products, services and brands. These tools, coupled with future possible developments around Bing and Facebook, for instance, can mean that businesses have a greater understanding of their customers and are able to provide better products and services because of it.

“Over the next several weeks, our two teams will continue to experiment and innovate towards our shared vision of giving people access to the wisdom of their friends combined with the information available on the web,” Connell added.

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