What Your Facebook Friends Think Matters…. To Bing!

Personally, I am quite selective with Facebook. With Twitter, I am happy to follow, be followed by and converse with people I have never met with whom I share some common interests. I think that particular platform lends itself well to that. But Facebook is “offline” friends and family. But even though they’re people I know…. I’m not sure I am completely on board with Bing’s latest idea.

Let’s face it, Bing is up against some stiff competition on the search engine front… so it definitely needs something original if it even stands a chance (a tiny, little, weenie, miniscule dot of a chance) at any David and Goliath style defeat of Google in the search engine market stakes. This is certainly original. But I’m not sure it’s any good.

Basically, Bing made a post on its blog earlier on discussing how it plans to use your Facebook friends to personalise your search results. Now, of course this is going to be subject to you linking your Facebook profile with Bing and agreeing to it. Essentially, any website that has a “like” button associated with it and has been liked by any of your friends on Facebook, will be displayed (for relevant searches) with your friend’s Facebook photo beside it.

Now, for me personally, I’m not sure I would want my Facebook friends popping up as I search for something. Let’s say, for example, one of your friend likes Amazon. That’s a pretty big site, right? It tends to rank for a lot of searches of thousands of different kinds. So if I am looking for a specific model of camera, for example, I could be likely to see the face of someone I vaguely remember from primary school some 17 years ago at the side of the Amazon result? I just don’t think it makes sense.

I do see the logic they have used: 50% of people in a survey have said they take their friend’s opinions into account when making a purchase. But what about the other 50% who are perfectly capable of making a purchasing decision without their next door neighbour’s brother’s friend’s cousin’s ex-girlfriend who added them on Facebook, endorsing it?

Well, quite simply, those people don’t have to link up Facebook with Bing. So nobody’s forcing it on you. Anyway…. not something that’s going to really affect most of the search engine using population. In fact, I would hazard a guess that anyone looking for information on this whole Facebook/Bing thing will probably turn to Google to find it!

Enough said? 😉