Microsoft reinvents Bing, Features New Social Sidebar

Bing announced a relaunch of its search engine today, with a big emphasis on bringing social into search. But wait! Didn’t Bing already have social as part of its search experience? Yes, but now the search engine hopes to do it better, especially by largely off-loading social elements into a new sidebar area.

The new features will appear for Bing users in the United States the coming days, taking several weeks to go live fully for everyone. Those who want to increase the odds of early access can visit this notification page.

The New Bing

What’s in “The New Bing,” as the Microsoft post pitches it as? A three column design with Core Search, Snapshot & Sidebar panes

  •     Core Search loses many of the social annotations that Bing has added over the years
  •     Snapshot provides additional information about a particular search listing, without having to leave Bing
  •     Sidebar serves as a new home for social integration with search

Bing’s put together a short video explaining the new features, which you can watch below. After that, I’ll take you on my own personal tour of the changes.

In the sidebar, various social elements may appear depending on how relevant Bing decides they are to your search. In the case above, I did a search for Costa Rica, which triggered three of the four main elements you’ll see:

  •     Ask Friends
  •     Friends Who Might Know
  •     People Who Know
  •     Activity Feed


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