Facebook and Bing, Sittin’ In A Tree

Today Bing and Facebook announced what could be viewed as an unholy marriage of tech juggernauts or a natural evolution of web search. The fusion of Bing and Facebook is meant to provide a more personal touch to your web searches, privileging data that matches things your friends are talking about on Facebook. That includes data from Likes, Places, Photos, and more. Over the next few weeks users will start to see results pulled from Facebook, including your friends’ faces, all over the Bing search results page. And when you search the web from within Facebook, Bing will be behind the engine.

Facebook users (rightfully) worried about their data ending up in yet another place will be able to disable this instant personalization from a box on the Bing page. It’s not clear if you’ll be able to only stop Bing from showing you the Facebook-driven results or if you can also exclude them from your friends’ searches. Regardless, if the past is any indication, it’ll be yet another thing users will have to opt out of instead of opting in.

If Mashable’s Ben Parr is to be believed, Bing/Microsoft and Facebook were all about the mutual loving at the official announcement. Whether users will love this as much is yet to be seen. Making search better has obvious benefits, and both companies are right when they say that our friends’ opinions are more valuable than an algorithm’s. By bringing the relevant data from Facebook to the search page, they’re making it easier to find this information faster.

On the other hand, this is now one ore giant company that knows too much about me. Another company that’s making itght connections between my data and my friends’ data in order to better show me what i want, then tell me what I should want. Isn’t it Google’s job to be that scary?

We’ll have to wait for the full roll-out to see how well Bing and Facebook can implement this strategy. It could be that Bing becomes so good at finding what i want that I’ll give up Google forever. Or it could be that Bing will make a lot of embarrassing connections between what it thinks I want and what it thinks my friends would suggest, leading me to stay away from the service forever. Who wants to take bets on which will happen to you?

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