Today Microsoft announced that it has integrated Foursquare data into the third column of Bing’s redesign. That area is reserved for social recommendations and actions. Now, users whose friends have visited the venue or location that they are searching for, and shared that they went publicly, will have that data available to help them make a decision.

Given that Bing’s Facebook integration is useful only in limited cases (TNW’s opinion after testing), this addition of Foursquare data has the potential greatly boost the efficacy of Bing’s new design. This is what a user might see when they run a search for a location that a friend had checked into:

2012 07 18 09h26 19 Bing integrates Foursquare data into its search results to boost personal recommendations

That’s probably about what you imagined it would look like, and it’s useful because it brings data that you would have had to execute a seperate search for, and on Foursquare’s website, into your normal results.

Once at a location, tips that your friends have posted are quite nice. However, the ability to easily secure that information before you leave, in conjunction with your normal search for a location (hours, mapping, coupons, etc) can lead to better decisions. Especially from those who supposedly know your tastes best, your friends. The data is locationally targeted, so if you search for Jimmy John’s in Chicago, you won’t be served a location in the wrong state.

Foursquare itself has been expanding its informational offerings, in a bid to become a larger destination for those seeking the rundown on any location that they might visit.

This is Bing’s “first new [...] sidebar integration” since its relaunch. Not bad, I say.

Top Image Credit: Robert Scoble