MIAMI, 20 SEPTEMBER 2010 - Microsoft's Bing search engine now displays suggested Twitter accounts that users of its social search engine may want to subscribe to -- or "follow" in Twitter parlance -- based on the users' search queries.
In choosing account suggestions, Bing weighs a variety of factors about its author, such as influence, popularity and knowledge about the topic in question, Microsoft said Monday .
"With Twitter growing to more than 145 million accounts, finding interesting people to follow can be difficult. People Recommendation on Bing Social helps you discover interesting and relevant Twitter users based on your searches," wrote Microsoft officials Mike Ching and Shubha Nabar in a blog post.
For example, if someone searches for a movie, Bing may suggest the film's official Twitter account and those of its stars, while queries about a product may yield suggestions for the manufacturer's account and for experts.
The capability is the latest for Bing in the increasingly popular area of social search. Search engines large and small are scrambling to help users sort through the massive amount of pointless drivel in social media services and find relevant, valuable information. Social media pundits often refer to this challenging process as finding the "signals" within the "noise."
Other search providers interested in this area include Google, Microsoft's search partner Yahoo, as well as social search specialists like OneRiot and Wink.
It's not clear from the announcement whether this is a capability Yahoo will get access to through its search partnership with Microsoft, or whether it's a Bing-only feature for now.
Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
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