Bing and Facebook grow closer

SAN FRANCISCO, May 16, 2011 (AFP) - Microsoft on Monday began letting
Bing search results reflect "likes" of people's friends at Facebook as
the social networking star and the software colossus grew closer.

"The best decisions are not just fueled by facts, they require the
opinions and emotions of your friends," Bing senior vice president
Yusuf Mehdi said in a release.

"We're marrying fact-based search results with your friends' street
smarts to combine the best data on the Web with the opinions of the
people you trust the most and the collective IQ of the Web."

Microsoft also added a "Bing bar" button that Facebook members can use
to indicate a "Like" for any web page they visit.

In October, Facebook and Microsoft announced they were working
together to personalizing Internet searches.

"This is just the beginning; there is going to be a whole lot more to
come over time," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said as the
collaboration was revealed.

Likes, interests and other information shared at Facebook hold the
potential to let search engines tailor online searches to individuals
and personalize results.

Microsoft's partnership with Facebook dates back four years to when
the social networking service had just 100 employees and seven million

Microsoft paid 240 million dollars in late 2007 for a 1.6 percent
stake in Facebook. Bing is used to power Internet searches at the
social network.

Bing has been striving to close ground on Internet search king Google,
which dominates the US market. Google executives have discussed the
importance of making searches more personal and social.