Bing & Facebook Challenge Google Instant Search

Google and Yahoo are currently the two top search engines, but Bing will be knocking Yahoo into third place soon enough. With two new features being added to the search engine, Bing is making big strides to challenge its main competitor, Google, and its new ‘Instant Search’ feature. Either way, the way we search is changing fast.

Mark Zuckerberg and Qi Lu (Karen T. Borchers/Mercury News)

Yesterday, big names like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Qi Lu announced a major merging of the two companies’ most popular websites. This all started with Microsoft buying a 1.6% stake in Facebook for $240 million in 2007 and gaining special access to their social grid, according to BBC News.

Search results on Bing will now be accompanied by your Facebook friends who have posted that they like what you are searching for. In other words, you can search for a restaurant and see which of your friends like that restaurant on Facebook. You can even search for people you know on Facebook through

This is yet another step in the full integration of social media on the internet, particularly through Facebook. It was noted that Mark Zuckerberg likes the scrappy underdog, and in the world of search engines, that is Bing. Microsoft has obviously realized the potential of integrating Facebook into the search engine, and beat Google to the punch.

On top of the new Facebook integration, Bing is also offering a new “visual search” option in which your search results are listed with pictures instead of text. The results apparently can be compiled more quickly with pictures, plus the visual results make it feel more like flipping through a catalogue instead of reading through text results.

These moves from Microsoft to improve their standing in the search engine market is obviously an acknowledgement of the improvements Google has made to their search engine. The fight for the best search engine is no longer a matter of tiny details, but major innovations and new features. With the improvements being made, the demographics for search engines will be much more dissected.

The real question now is whether the average person will prefer the quickest search results possible or search results with social integration.

How do you think Yahoo will compete with these two expanding search engine rivals?

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