Microsoft and Facebook are partnering up via Bing, with tighter integration between the social media giant and the second biggest search engine in the world. Up until now, Facebook has existed in a world of its own with regard to third-party search, so this new partnership is likely to bring some big changes to both parties.
A number of new search features are being planned to provide tighter integration between these two online giants. One feature called Liked results will allow Facebook data to come up on relevant Bing searches, a feature designed to make it easier for people to find relevant information and make decisions based on input that they trust. For example, when you ask Bing to find you the best coffee in town, the results can be based around your Facebook network and not just random user data.
One other new feature is called Facebook Profile Search, which will allow users to search for people on Facebook directly via Bing. The names with mutual friends will show up first on the results, much the same as they do on the Facebook website itself. This feature will also allow users to add friends directly from the Bing search page, which will have a huge impact on the way Facebook integrates with the outside world.
While many people seem surprised by this partnership between an established giant and a new – highly successful – tech upstart, it is no surprise at all when you take a look at the books. Microsoft have made a $240 million investment into Facebook, which is a 1.6 percent stake. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg cemented the partnership by appeared on stage yesterday with Microsoft executives, saying “We’re hard-wired so that information about people is the most interesting information we track in the world.”
Satya Nadella, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Online Services Division has also had something to say about the partnership: “Facebook has led a transformation of the Internet already” adding “This new signal will allow us to do a better and more comprehensive job predicting what resources and content are most relevant to you because, in addition to all the other signals we use, other people you trust have found them interesting.”
The new social-media Facebook integration with Bing is scheduled to roll out in the United States over the next few weeks, with the rest of the world sure to follow in the near future.