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Bing announces redesign, focuses on social media

Microsoft search engine Bing is set receive a major overhaul from next month, with the site introducing a new sidebar feature that focuses on social media content.

Since its launch in 2009, Bing has constantly being working towards creating a site big enough to rival Google – and this latest update may just be the point of difference it has been looking for.

While the testing period is set to begin tomorrow (May 15), details of the revamp are quite extensive. In an official blog post last week (May 10), the search engine outlined a new three-column structure.

The split-screen look will see the left column retain the familiar Bing formula, while the middle section – dubbed "Snapshot" – will feature further actions such as getting directions, finding screening times at your local cinema or making an online purchase.

The right-hand column is where the social media-focused "Sidebar" will be presented, giving users access to relevant Facebook posts and tweets based on their search enquiry – without having to open a new browser window.

What some Facebook and Twitter users may not realise is that Microsoft has a longstanding partnership with the popular social networks – a deal that Google does not have.

"People have become as important as pages and search needs to evolve to embrace these changes," Bing said in its official post.

"The challenge has been to figure out how to integrate the information you care about with the people who can be most helpful to you in getting stuff done."

It is unclear whether the update will reach Australian shores – but the local arm of Bing is certainly looking increase its market share.

"In the US, Bing has 30 per cent share. In Australia, we have single digit share," managing director of Bing Australia Alex Parsons told media news source Mumbrella today (May 14).

Posted by Elise Ferrari