Bing makes it easier, perhaps scarier, to discover photos

Bing's "Friends Photos" is not new, but today Microsoft's search engine rolled out a major update to the service that MK Li, program manager of Bing Social, termed as an "experience which makes it easier to scan, discover and explore your friends’ photos".

So what has Microsoft added? For one, a new look and interface. The service now displays in the "Modern UI" type of format, much the same way as Windows 8 and Windows Phone. The search results in a tiled interface that, according to Li, "marries design and performance, making it faster and more seamless to browse your friends’ photos".

Second, Bing announced a brand new slideshow mode. Users can click on an individual image and begin a slideshow of the search results. This allows you to easily view all of the photos returned by your inquiry, hopefully making it easier to find what you are looking for. You can also browse from this interface.

The Friends Photos originally rolled out last year as a way to search through your friends Facebook photos via the Microsoft search engine. Before the privacy advocates get worked up, let me point out that Scott McNealy, formerly CEO of Sun Microsystems, before it was purchased by Oracle, famously told us all that "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."

As it turns out, we have taken his advice. According to a 2012 survey from Pew, which points out that "46 percet of adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created". It goes on to tell us that 41 percent share images and video found online and, in fact, 12 percent are on Instagram -- a service made to share your photos. In other words, McNeally may have been ahead of his time.

Bing has considered those implications as well. Li was sure to mention that "Bing respects your Facebook privacy settings. Your Facebook friends will only be able to see the photos you have made viewable and your photos will never be shared with the public". Are you relived by that or worried about the implications nonetheless?

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