Facebook and Microsoft Talk about Strengthening Ties

Posted on Sep 20th 2010

Facebook and Microsoft are currently in talks of expanding the search ties the two have been sharing for many years.

Sources say that these talks include the possibility for Microsoft’s Bing search service to find data from consumer usage of the social networking site’s recently introduced Like buttons.

The Like button, which Facebook has been trying to spread around the Web, allows users to indicate an interest in a webpage, blog post or photos with one click.  Afterwards, a link to the liked page will be published to the user’s Facebook feed for their friends to see (e.g. eTourism liked Facebook and Microsoft Talk About Strengthening Ties).

While the deal is not yet final, knowing that there is a possibility of a much deeper tie-up can provide a treasure trove of insight for both search users and advertisers.  This strengthened partnership can indicate what people are actually interested in searching on the Internet rather than just putting together huge amounts of information and trying to make it into something useful.

This also presumably gives Bing more advantage than Google, since the Facebook data that will be available on it will not be shown on Google.  Bing’s ability to access Facebook’s information-generating audience grows ever larger.

Although, sources say that because of Facebook’s many privacy clauses, any expansion of the search relationship with Microsoft may never involve access to any information except that which users have agreed to make public.
But Facebook and Microsoft already struck a nonexclusive agreement almost a year ago to integrate Facebook’s real-time feeds of public status updates into Bing, as part of a long-time search–as well as investment–relationship between Microsoft and Facebook that stretches back for years.

To date, Bing provides global Web search to Facebook, yielding branded results whenever someone searches within the search field in the official Facebook site. 

Should this agreement be made final, how do you think it can affect your resort’s online initiatives?

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