I'm not sure what deals Microsoft and Facebook have made in the past, but the cooperation between the two Internet giants seems to grow closer by the month. This time it is Microsoft's Bing search engine that is providing Facebook users with the opportunity to search and browse Facebook photos on Bing. What makes this special is that users can search their own and their friends photos right from a special page and the Bing sidebar.
Special page? Find photos on Facebook is a beta service right now and it is likely that Microsoft wants to run a public beta test before the functionality is made available on the main Bing site.
First thing that you need to do is connect Bing to Facebook if you have not done that already. Once done, you should be taken to the Friend's Photos page on Bing that offers a search form at the top, and options to browse various photo sets directly below that.
Here you can display recent photos of your friends or fan pages, photos of you, or the albums and the photos they contain on Facebook.
The only section that worked during tests was the your albums photo listing. All other selections returned a "We are having some trouble getting photos from Facebook. Please try again" error message.
The search form at the top on the other hand worked fine and you can use it to search for your friends right from there. Bing displays suggestions to make it easier, and once you select a friend, you will see all photo albums you have access to on the page.
It is likely that the search can also retrieve photos based on keywords, e.g. party, wedding or baseball, but that did not work either and is likely linked to the connections issues that the search experienced. According to Microsoft, the following options are available:
Bing's Facebook photo search not only works on the beta page, but may also display results in Bing's sidebar when you search on the main search engine page.
Why would someone want to search for or browse photos on Bing and not on Facebook directly? For one, you can't really search all of your and your friend's photos on Facebook directly. You may also prefer Bing's way of displaying the photos to you, which feels more straightforward - and basic at the same time.
What's your take on this new feature? Great addition or something that you won't be using at all?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.