Charlene Li has a great post today about Bing and its product alliance with Facebook — one she feels will help Microsoft cut into Google’s search share. She is quite right. Bing, number 3 in search, announced it will integrate Facebook’s social graph information (“Likes’) into search results, as an option. If you use Bing to search a particular topic you will have the ability to check results based upon how your Facebook friends affect those results as determined by their “Likes.”
This is smart logic on Microsoft’s part…jumping on the bandwagon of the world’s most populous social network. It’s smart for Facebook, backing up the truck to the Microsoft bank. And it’s good across-the-board logic, allowing search to be viewed based upon the likes of friends, followers and communities.
When Facebook changed “Fan” to “Like” it struck me as a bit odd, though. Call me paranoid, but I now smell the backroom deal. The timing was about right.
Personally I am not a big “Liker.” I don’t really click on “Liked” things, yet many do and it has become a popular pastime and app. As more marketers encourage Facebook users to Like things – and shill for their brands – the behavior will become tired, forced and die down. As permissions and privacy interests grow Likes will also die down. Facebook will still be Facebook, finding new ways to grow and monetize, and Bing will have won some serious market share points with this new tactic. That said, Bing will still be innovating OPS (other people’s stuff). Peace!