Brands and Buddies, the new way to Bing

TakeAway: Visual “tiles” that come up with Bing’s search results are part of the Bing’s innovations  to make the search platform more interactive and relevant to its users.

It is also showing the searcher’s Facebook friends’ Likes as another way to for users to validate the results. 

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Excerpted from BrandChannel, “Bing Enhances Search with Brands and Buddies”  by Sheila Shayon, February 25, 2011

… search with Microsoft’s Bing lately, noticed the tiles now included with dynamically rendered visual info from brands in the entertainment, local, travel and auto categories. … enhancing Bing to be more relevant to users.

User queries trigger them to appear on the right side of the screen from one of 45 launch partners including IMDb, Yahoo Movies, Rotten Tomatoes, OpenTable, Yelp, CitySearch, Urban Spoon, Cheap Flights, YouTube, MTV, Last.fm, Rhapsody, Pandora, MSN and dozens more.

The tiles are interactive and click-through on a Pandora or Rhapsody tile brings up a song or checks the number of plays via Last.fm.

… the tiles are “going to be pulling in metadata from those sites. …figure out the results they’re looking for if you append some kind of visual cue onto the page.” … And enable users to “ingest third party content more successfully,” …

… “an innovative move to add images to the organic results. But … innovations must come from the ranking results vs. making adjustments to the aesthetics of searches…

… not so much intrusive as a value add to the search and/or social online experience: …feel Bing as a search engine is more user-friendly, smart and reputable. Consumers are intrinsically drawn to visual references and respect and trust this type of added feature when looking for a product…

… Bing tiles are the latest ingredient in a richer mix evocative of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 interface with alerts on homescreen tiles updated real-time.

Add to the mix that Bing also now displays your friends’ Facebook likes in your search results, …

Edit by HH

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