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Microsoft on social search: Google did what we didn't want to do

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Director of Bing search Stefan Weitz has explained why the company has been relatively slow to integrate social networks into its search results, despite having deals in place with Facebook and Twitter.


Microsoft's been on the offensive regarding Google's recent policy changes, with the search giant's controversial decision to prioritize Google+ in its results a particular target of ire. However, you might not be aware that Microsoft actually has deals in place for displaying results from Facebook and Twitter in its own search engine, Bing, which allow it access to the social networks' feeds. The implementation has been subtle so far, but director of Bing search Stefan Weitz explains why in an interview with All Things D. While Weitz acknowledges that the company has been slow to make use of its hook-ups, he stresses the difficulty of making accurate recommendations, or even understanding what a user may mean when they "Like" something on Facebook. Speaking on the difference between Microsoft and Google's approach, Weitz says the latter company went too far, too quickly:

"They did what we didn’t want to do, which was make the user experience peppered with this stuff, with +1s everywhere, the Google+ content in the top corner. I think [Google] realized we were ahead and they overextended."

It's worth reading the interview for an insight into how these decisions get made, and how even companies as savvy as Google can wander into pitfalls of public opinion.