Microsoft’s Bing, unbeknowing to most, has had a long-standing partnership with Twitter since 2009.  As of today, the search engine is finally unveiling some new features that will improve the way a user searches for hashtags and Twitter handles on its platform.

Bing users can  search trending hashtags, Twitter handles, and celebrity-related tweets.

To find topics currently trending on Twitter using Bing, users can entire the “#” symbol before any search term.

For example, a search query for #dailyshow produces the following results:

Microsoft and Twitter Team Up to Make Bing Better for Social Search | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Microsoft and Twitter Team Up to Make Bing Better for Social Search | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Additionally, Twitter handles can be searched by entering the “@” symbol before typing the name. Bing will yield a list of matching top Twitter profiles and related tweets to the specific Twitter handle in search results.

Microsoft and Twitter Team Up to Make Bing Better for Social Search | Small Screen Producer Digital and Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

Celebrity searches on Bing will now include top Twitter content related to that celebrity.

Microsoft and Twitter both signed an exclusive deal back in November to include some tweets in Bing search. It looks like these new features are add-ons to that original agreement. Twitter had additionally reached out to Google for a possible partnership, but was never able to rekindle the relationship. It looks it’s a loss for Google and a gain for Microsoft, a company that seems hungry to bring the value of Twitter content to Bing. Although Twitter already has its own search engine on its site, it is yet to be seen how Bing’s new Twitter features will affect it.

Other new features that Bing has on the way are faster access to free editions of books and a more direct way to view free online education courses in search results. If you type in “chemistry” or “us history” for example, Bing will list free online courses on the subject on the left-hand side. What’s more, if you search for a book title, Bing will display links to a free ebook copy. If an ebook is not available, a snapshot pane will display a link the nearest public library where the book might be available.

Have you tried Bing’s new search features? Do you think they’re useful?

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