The new Bing is a futuristic and future-thinking search engine. The goal is to bring in as many sources as possible to give you the most informed answer to your query via the "fact finder" (search), "snapshot" (ratings and reviews), and "social" panes. It ends up working pretty well, while everything you'd expect to show up in the social bar doesn't quite yet. There are obviously some kinks to work out — for example, where are social search results on a Forcella, a pizza place I saw a friend check in to on Facebook the other night?
Once the new Bing accurately displays content from every social network, it promises a social search utopia. Imagine searching for a restaurant you're considering and seeing a few things: reviews from five different websites,organized by star rating inside the Bing Knows bar, then right next to it, a list of friends that have checked in to that restaurant across Facebook and Foursquare, and then even some pictures from Twitter of the restaurant's insane pasta fagioli.
The new Bing isn't there yet, but it's clearly heading in that direction with some tweaking and optimization. "We're annotating algorithmic results to actually get stuff done," Weitz told me. While algorithmic search results are still there, the new Bing points you towards real people who you can ask for information, because as VP Derrick Connell mentioned earlier, people want perspective and not just raw search results. If Microsoft can successfully integrate Bing with data gold mines like Yelp, OpenTable, Facebook, and Twitter, it could have a real edge over Google, which has alienated companies like Twitter and Yelp in the past. Bing's results aren't poor, but still haven't earned much mindshare, and rich partnerships and social results could swing the "future of search" in Microsoft's direction.
The new Bing begins rolling out soon, and you can sign up here to be notified.
This article originally appeared on theverge.com as New Bing calls on Facebook and Twitter to beat Google’s Search Plus Your World (hands-on)