The Facebook Instant Personalization integration is really good news for Bing. It distinguishes their search engine from Google’s in a notable way and very much at the expense of the dominant player.
As Strong As the Weakest Link
Search results personalized to your social network have been attempted on Google, namely via an address book compiled from Gmail, Google Reader, and Google Buzz contacts, appearing as “social circle results.” However, in general, it has been a failure.
Part of the reason for this is that Gmail/Buzz wasn’t — and still isn’t — representative of most people’s social graph. Perhaps counter-intuitively, our e-mail contacts turned out not to represent our social network.
Consequently, Google Buzz has never reached the scale required to make social connections truly relevant to search.
An extremely important component was missing — actual friendship. You know, that emotional connection that elevates humanity above animals. I think the Beatles wrote a song about it.