The Microsoft-run Bing has launched a redesign modeled to target a weakness in Google’s search.
Bing surpassed Yahoo as the internet’s second most popular search engine earlier this year, and hopes to gain more users with the inclusion of a new social search function. Bing’s new “Sidebar” will display posts from users’ social networks, and the search will be able to scour through the users’ social networks to find relevant posts on the search subject.
The idea of a social network search is not brand new. Google introduced its own “Search Plus Your World” in January, but restricted users to just their Google+ network. The insular service was criticized as a result. Bing’s Sidebar will allow users to access their Google+ network, along with sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Google has been caught in the trap of trying to build its own social network while Bing is content to work alongside established ones. “We think this is a far better approach than building our own social network,” Stefan Weitz, Bing’s senior director, said in an interview with CNNMoney. “We’re not being restricting with anyone.”
Microsoft holds investments in Facebook, and has been partnered with Twitter since 2009. Google ended its partnership with Twitter last year.
Even as Bing looks to surpass Google in terms of function, the dominating market share held by Google will be difficult to overcome. First place Google holds almost four times Bing’s market share at 66.4 percent, compared to Microsoft’s 15.3 percent. Maintaining Bing as a competitor is currently costing Microsoft almost $1 billion each quarter.