Following the introduction of social sidebar last year, Microsoft has been working on ways to make it more interactive. Today the company announced that it has expanded Bing’s integration with Facebook, allowing people to engage with content right from the sidebar.

Initially, Bing’s social sidebar included only Likes, photos, and profile information from Facebook. Earlier this year, the company added status updates, shared links, and comments for more context. Now, not only can members see relevant posts, but they can comment and Like them as well.

Bing used searching for tickets to Beyoncé’s upcoming concert as an example. After submitting a query, “I can see that my friend has recently posted that she has an extra ticket to the show. Now without leaving the Bing results page, I comment directly to her post letting her know that I”d love to join her for the concert.”

This integration likely won’t have a direct impact on businesses, but it could come in handy for community managers and other people who love a bit of offline networking. During a search for post-panel events at BlogHer, for example, you might see a post from a Facebook acquaintance who will also be attending the conference. You can connect right away and make plans to meet at the event.

Of course, this will only work assuming people have connected their Facebook accounts to Bing, something Microsoft has yet to share data about. It’s hard to say if the social sidebar will be more efficient than Google’s Knowledge Graph or even Facebook’s Graph Search. And if you’re not already a regular Bing user, it might not be enough to sway you one way or another. However, it’s notable enough to mention in the chance that it leads a few customers to your website or product.

[Via: TechCrunch, Image credit: Lindsey Turner]