Microsoft has announced plan to revamp its popular Bing search engine with a number of new features, including an interactive Foursquare map app.
"[The app] is a powerful combination of the spatial canvas that Bing Maps provides, combined with Foursquare's user reputation service ability to see who has unlocked specific badges, where and who has been crowned mayor of certain locations making it easier to explore any city in the world as if you were a local," explained Microsoft spokesperson Todd Schwartz.
"Let's say you're traveling to New York City for the week, but you don't know what's hot in Greenwich Village. Selecting the foursquare Map App in Bing Maps, and zooming into to Greenwich Village will get you tips that show you what locals are saying about the hot spots in that area. It's like an interactive day planner, designed to help find the best things to do in that area. And if you have questions, you can always contact users through foursquare to get the inside scoop."
According to Schwartz, Microsoft is also in the process of testing new design concepts by moving Quick Tabs functionality to the top of the page for "1-click access" to Bing's most visual and organized pages.
"We think this approach is a better way for Bing to anticipate user intent and adapt both the page and the results to help make faster, more informed decisions."
Finally, Schwartz noted that the Redmond-based company was "helping with everyday activities," such as staying up to date on news, information and real-time data.
"But search for these real-time signals using traditional search is challenging, so we have been doing work with a bunch of partners like Twitter to bring that data into the search experience.
"[So], we will test new experiences for real-time results. For example, when you search for a publication such as the New York Times, Bing not only gives you quick access to specific sections of the destination website, but also provides the most popular shared links from that publication."