Back in 2007 the Redmond corporate giant managed to acquire a small share of Facebook for a whooping $250 mil deal after incredibly stiff and harsh negotiations. Microsoft’s interest in Facebook continued, and the two are currently collaborating in hope of standing a chance against Google and capitalizing on the search market.
At the beginning of the year, Facebook dropped banner ads, which as part of the 2007 deal had been served by Microsoft, and added the bing.com search engine into its system, revamping the Facebook person search in the process. Now, Bing is set to serve search engine results according to your Facebook recommendations. Basically, in the new interface you’ll be able to see if any of your friends, provided your logged in of course, liked a search result for the query of your interest. The concept could prove to be monumental, especially considering the search market in constantly migrating day by day towards a more personal, geo-targeted area.
Why did Facebook choose Microsoft, though? Because they’re “the underdog”, says Zuckerberg in a recent webinar, a statement which would had been deemed heretical just a decade ago.
“The thing that makes Microsoft a great partner for us is that they really are the underdog here, and because of that, they’re in a structural position where they’re incentivized to just go all-out and innovate… And when you’re an incumbent in an area, no matter how smart you are, there’s just always this tension between trying to innovate and push new things, and trying to preserve what you have. And we’ve never felt that with Microsoft.”
I’ve tweaked with bing a bit, and it seems the Facebook implementation has yet to happen, but I’m pretty curious to see how it works out, especially considering that only a small fraction of my searches will probably contain terms that have been both browsed and “liked” by my network. It’s definitely an important first step to genuine “recommended” search results, one that we’ll follow with much interest.