Microsoft reveals Bing update with tabbed image search and Facebook integration
Microsoft's Bing search engine is getting a pile of new features, mostly focused on improving the search engine's visual experience, the company revealed Wednesday at the Bing Search Summit in San Francisco. Bing has added context-specific results for things like movies, sports tickets, and shopping, so you'll see relevant prices, locations and reviews tailored to your search. The coolest new features, though, are an improved image search (now with tabs!) and Facebook integration.
Bing's image search finally delivers something that Google's doesn't: tabs. When you search for an image, you'll see related searches in the tabs on top, and you can jump between them without leaving the page. That'll make it easier to narrow down your image searches and find exactly what you're looking for. Image searches now also have infinite scrolling, to save you the trouble of clicking any "back" or "next" buttons.
Facebook integration with Bing is also being stepped up a notch. Soon, Facebook likes will be a standard part of Bing search results, so you can quickly spot the pages your friends have liked. Likes are even going to figure into the search rankings for the first time. Facebook-licious!
Bing Maps is also getting some changes. It has (mostly) switched over from Silverlight to Ajax, added the ability for mobile users to take and upload Panoramas, and introduced Streetside to its mobile app. That last bit is potentially the most interesting, because Streetside is something like Google Street View for Bing, and the mobile version can zoom out even further than the current desktop version allows. For those of us who rely on public transit, the addition of nearby bus and train schedules to Bing's mobile mix is also quite welcome.