(This post has been updated to include the names Microsoft uses to refer to the columns in the new Bing search results page.)
The dramatic overhaul of Bing, in which results from a user’s Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks are featured in a column on the search results page, is expected to go live shortly after 3 p.m. today for U.S. users to try out at www.bing.com/new.
Microsoft announced last week that the new Bing search results page will be divided into three columns.
The column on the left displays standard search results.
The middle column — which Microsoft refers to as “snapshot” — displays tasks or possible actions associated with the search (for instance, pulling up a map and reviews of a restaurant or the option to make a restaurant reservation if you searched for local restaurants).
The column on the right — which Microsoft is dubbing the “sidebar” — shows actions your friends have taken related to the topic you queried: liking a particular restaurant, for instance, or offering an opinion on best restaurants in the city. And users can post questions and friends can respond from either Facebook or Bing. The sidebar will also list experts and enthusiasts in areas related to the search topic.
Here is a video from Microsoft about the new Bing: