Microsoft has added a bit of social spit and polish to its Bing search engine. In a bid to keep gaining on its main rival Google, the site has added a number of social-networking related features which are meant to enhance searching.

To go alongside its Twitter integration – which happened last October – Bing now has additional real-time features, taken from popular web-links.

"This week, we will test new experiences for real-time results," explains the Bing blog.

"For example, when you search for a publication such as the New York Times, Bing not only gives you quick access to specific sections of the destination website, but also provides the most popular shared links from that publication."

Local maps for local people

Bing has also updated its maps service, adding some new Map Apps. One of these centres around Foursquare, which offers up real-time information in the maps service.

"The Foursquare map app is a powerful combination of the spatial canvas that Bing Maps provides, combined with Foursquare's user reputation service ability to see who has unlocked specific badges, where and who has been crowned mayor of certain locations making it easier to explore any city in the world as if you were a local."

Expect more Bing updates in the near future as Microsoft has noted that these features are 'only the beginning'.

This is either good news or a thinly veiled threat, depending on how much you love the likes of Foursquare and Twitter.

Via Pocket-Lint