On Thursday, Microsoft introduced the New Bing, a modified version of the search engine that will now include even more social data in a new structured interface. The New Bing will be rolled out over the next few weeks, and searchers will find social information from not only Facebook, but also Twitter, Foresquare, Quora, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Blogger. Microsoft seems to be focusing on bringing searchers valuable social, and service information without obstructing the organic results.
The new interface is broken down into three main areas, Core Web Results, Snapshot, and Sidebar. Microsoft also refers to these areas as Search Knows, Bing Knows, and Friends Know.
1. Core Web Results: Search Knows
This is the area furthest to the left where you will find Bing's organic search results, without the clutter of social information. The navigational items above the search bar have been modified slightly for relevance and formatting purposes.
2. Snapshot: Bing Knows
This is the center column on the search results page intended to bring the searcher relevant information faster. This area will feature information Bing finds to be the most useful based on the search query such as maps, restaurants, reservation information and reviews.
3. Sidebar: Friends Know
On the far right of the search results page, users will find the social sidebar, an area that focuses exclusively on social data relevant to what is searched. The idea of including social information in search is not new. Bing had previously integrated search results with Facebook data, while Google came aboard with Google Plus. It is no secret that consumers consult and trust social information when making a purchase decision.
The sidebar takes this to a new level by incorporating much more social information then ever before. Users will find information from not only their "friends," but also "friends they might know," and "people who know." These areas are meant to point you in the direction of friends that might have information on what you are searching as well as experts on the subject. Users will also be able to post and answer questions in this area, which will be displayed in an activity feed at the bottom of the sidebar.
To get a feel for the new look, check out http://www.bing.com/new. Keep in mind that the sidebar does not yet seem to have full functionality, nor is the Snapshot currently visible. Be on the lookout for the full roll-out of the New Bing in the next few weeks, and the mobile friendly version as well. For more information on the new interface or features check out Bing's Blog Post: Introducing the New Bing: Spend Less Time Searching, More Time Doing