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Exclusive first video look at new Bing social search, coming next week, and my thoughts about Bing vs. Google

Yesterday I attended the Microsoft Bing press announcements and here is Microsoft's Stefan Weitz, who talks with me at length about what's going on in the social and search industries and he gives me a good look at the new Bing, which you can sign up to get at http://www.bing.com/new (Sorry, only going to be available in United States at first, we cover why in the video).

I also have had a few hours with the new Bing. Lots of the ideas here are impressive, but a few are disappointing because of their promise that isn't quite realized.

Key in the changes, for me, is the new social services. They've moved those to a pane on the right instead of cluttering up the search results with social stuff. That's a big change for Microsoft and comes right out of their customer testing. On the top it shows you people who know something about the topic you are searching for. +Chris Pirillo comes up in a search for Windows 8, for instance, which makes sense since he's pushing that around a bit with his dad.

But below, it's supposed to show you content that's been made around the social web that has something to do with the topic being searched on. In my experience it isn't focused enough, bringing in status messages that don't have anything to do with the topic being searched on. If Microsoft dramatically improves this this feature will really be massively cool since Bing is able to bring in content from Facebook, Quora, Foursquare, and other engines (they promise Google+ is even coming). Google, on the other hand, has decided not to use Facebook data at all in its search results so this could be a massive advantage for Bing. It just isn't quite there yet. See +Danny Sullivan's review for more on that.

But the interview is interesting because it shows what Bing is trying to do and I'm very excited about the future of social integration into search engines. There's something here.

That said, the other changes to Bing look really great. They simplified the user interface, have moved its database away from a page database to an entity database, which will let them bring back more useful results on a wide variety of platforms from mobile to tablets to big screens.

So, end result, I'll keep playing with Bing but are these new features enough to get me to switch from Google to Bing? Not yet, but if these features get built out with both more data and much more focused results, then I will find myself over here much more often.

This begs the question, though. Is Facebook doing a search engine and if it is, will it license Bing, or will it build its own?
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42 comments
 
This is super smart for Bing. This will amp up the competition for users
 
> Google, on the other hand, has decided not to use Facebook data at all in its search results

Uh? You are aware that's not their call to make, right?
 
Google will never use #facebook data as their missed investment opportunity in Facebook was picked up #Microsoft by both hands.
 
This is a very smart move from Bing, If I want to do a social search ill be doing it on Bing before I would on Google, mainly because of the inclusion of all the other services that Google dont have access too.
 
What kind of content is Bing able to bring in from Facebook? Pages, groups, open posts?
 
Link to new Bing doesn't seem to work from here. Would like to take a look...
 
Just switched my Chrome homepage to Bing a few days ago. Can't wait to try it out. It's about time we got some forward movement in this space.
 
What is with the U.S. only? Does Microsoft not know there's a world out there and growth outside the U.S. is the new Buzz word? I was very excited about this new Bing release, but now, MS can forget about converting me. I dislike being excluded.
 
They were so sure they had it right the last time.....
 
It looks interesting...but a little too busy from the looks over screenshots. Will definitely try it but I do like how simple Google is...for now!
 
+Robert Scoble Indeed, now getting through by using NA VPN. Funny thing is that it is partially translated in Dutch based on my location :-)
 
Like. But nothing Google or others couldn't clone, although AFAIK Goog doesn't have access to the FB and Twitter firehoses. Short-lived competitive advantage? And of course, the quality of the basic search results will still reign supreme in user minds.
 
Thanks +Robert Scoble I also dislike how So.cl and other sites demand you log in through your Facebook or Twitter account. I don't trust any 3rd party to access my accounts. They could be dishonest or get hacked into.

What happened to registering with a site using a valid email address?
 
This 25 minute video should have been split into two 14 1/2 minute segments. It's going to be hard to download and watch it. I'm experiencing some trouble right now: the download bar is barely ahead of the play bar.
 
Like the idea about the Entities you can act on, this is clearly where search is going to. Did I understand right that they are going to make an open platform around this?
 
It's the object oriented web. Find the objects, View them, Interact with them
 
I'm not aware of any company Google "hates" culturally, that seems to be a very bad way of putting things. Even from a practical standpoint, it would make more sense to hate Apple than to hate Facebook, because Facebook has more of an interest in keeping the Web ecosystem alive than Apple does.

It doesn't really make sense to anthropomorphize corporations with emotions.
 
Oh, I'll jump right on that! NOT! Anything Microsoft has their hands in is off limits to me. Which is why I'm spending more time on Google+ now that FB is really lip locked with them! Yes, I'm jaded.
 
Thanks so much for the review and video, +Robert Scoble ! That lets me know many of the things I was wondering about on the new Bing.
 
If I could get a word in with the rational non-hater/fanboy folks, I've been rather intrigued by the Riff and Tag functions they added to the so.cl streams -- I wouldn't mind those being explored on a other networks. I put more faith into Bing Social succeeding over so.cl, but I think Microsoft might be treading very carefully, as there is plenty to learn from Google and Facebook's own bumbling (combined with MS being, well, MS).
 
These features are intriguing, but the Bing index is notoriously stale. I know my website in anecdotal, but it's been online in its current state for six months and only 10% of it is indexed by Bing. Just looking at data point alone, I refuse to use it for general search because Bing doesn't know most of the web is out there. I don't care how relevant their results are if it's only looking at a slice of the whole web.
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Fantastic, FB will be fed with our search inquiries now?
 
I think your comments about the poor focus pretty much sums Bing up in general and appears not to have changed at all, even with the inclusion of "social" results. The inclusion of facebook as some how providing greater quality of results just doesn't gel. Most of the content on facebook is personal or junk with quite a limited amount of marketing content from some companies. Nothing that strikes me as particularly useful in search results.
 
So Microsoft is literally justifying its search/social integration with the same arguments they criticized Google for after the launch of SPYW; i.e.: "the web is evolving, it's no longer just pages and links, etc...."
 
Facebook may build a search engine some day, but that day is very far away (at least a Google like search engine, a pure social search engine may be more feasible)...if it's not I'll immediately sell any Facebook shares I may own.

Think about the barriers to entry for this. A company like Microsoft, which has the deepest pockets in the world to build out the scale needed, is STILL losing money hand over fist with Bing. The only other company in the world that has been able to monetize search is Baidu, which was handed the market by the Chinese government.

Facebook has many fewer resources (even after the IPO) than Microsoft or Google and I would view a full fledged effort into search as a gigantic distraction.
 
meh, I'm patiently waiting for Project Majel......
 
Gesture in the screenshots provokes me to create inappropriate subtitle for the image.
 
when is this thing available to other countries? in the uk It is still the same old bing
 
+Robert Scoble I would have to disagree with Blekko improving at all. I use them every week or two to see if I should switch. Their results have been getting worse in my opinion. They are certaily far behind Bing, Google, DuckDuckGo, etc., and don't look like making it up soon.

Then again, Blekko might be much better in the US (I'm in Australia), but if they are serious they should be looking internationally.
 
+Robert Scoble +Tin T.N. is write in saying that FB will know all your search queries. FB just changed their TOS just to do that. Either ur too naive to believe MS or you have no idea.
 
First thing is people should try bing for search which will take another 5 years to change the pattern if bing can provide better search results in first place.
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