Microsoft rolled out a new version of its Bing search engine with new features aimed at weaving together the experience of Internet search and social networking. There is, however, one eyebrow-raising new Bing feature Microsoft was testing that it decided not to release to the public.

Last week, when Microsoft gave me early access to the new version of Bing, I noticed a message in the search bar of the product that indicated I could share all of the search terms I entered on Bing with friends in my Facebook social network.

I did not activate the feature. Sharing Internet searches in an identifiable way with Facebook friends seemed downright creepy to me, not to mention a potential source of incredible irritation to people I am connected with on Facebook. Who needs to know when I’m looking up the store hours for Home Depot or figuring out whether I should medicate my dog?

When I asked Microsoft executives about it, they seemed somewhat embarrassed that I had found the feature. But they described the “broadcast mode” feature as an experiment and then only as an opt-in feature. They reassured me that it would not be in the final version of the product. That seems to be true.

Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at the Altimeter Group whom I spoke to for an article on the new Bing, told me she discovered the search-sharing feature too and said it was wise for Microsoft to get rid of it. “I was initially very concerned,” she said.


One Response to “Going Social, but Not Creepy, in the New Bing”

  1. Aicy Eltagonde says:

    This feature is great if you activae it to computers used by your kids

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