Microsoft and Facebook are discussing a possible agreement to use Facebook data to improve Bing, according to a report from AllThingsD.
Microsoft and Facebook are negotiating to increase their ties in search,
according to anonymous sources speaking to AllThingsD. That strengthened
relationship could include feeding data from Facebook's "Like" button
into Microsoft's Bing search engine.
Microsoft is a longtime investor in Facebook, and the two companies already
have an agreement in place to display Facebook's public status updates on Bing Social.
According to AllThingsD's
only Facebook users' "public" information will ever find
its way into Microsoft's search database, in a nod to the social network's
recent controversies over privacy.
Siphoning anonymous data from Facebook's "Like" button-which has
appeared on a seemingly ever-larger number of Websites-could help refine Bing's
search process. Microsoft executives offered similar justification for the
company's 2009 search-and-advertising agreement with Yahoo, which they said
would boost the amount of data digested by Bing, increasing its accuracy.
The article's sources emphasized, however, that the companies are nowhere
close to finalizing a deal.
Facebook's subscriber numbers and ad revenue continue to grow, but at the
cost of periodic user uprisings over the Website's privacy controls and how personal
information is being used to boost that ad revenue. Nonetheless, the model
developed by Facebook has managed to spread from the consumer world into the
enterprise, where tech companies such as Salesforce.com now offer applications
that connect business users and their information in open or closed social
to The Nielsen Company, Bing
overtook Yahoo in August
to become the second-ranked search engine in the United
States, with 13.9 percent of the market.
Nielsen estimated Google's share at 65 percent. Other companies continue to
place Bing third, behind Yahoo and Google.
"In terms of a year-over-year comparison, Google has seen little change
in its share of search while Yahoo has seen a small but steady decline,"
said a Nielsen
blog post Sept. 14.
Live/Bing's share has grown from 10.7 percent in August 2009 to 13.9 percent (a
delta increase of 3.2 percent or relative increase of 30 percent)."
Google is still the top U.S. search engine,
and its latest Instant Search
feature threatens to be a game-changer. Bing and Google have spent the last year
matching each other feature for feature, with only the occasional
divergence-Bing, for example, now has an Entertainment Tab with access to movie
trailers and games. Anything that allows Bing to import more data into its
system will not only increase the accuracy of its search, but also enhance any