Does Anyone Smell a Facebook-Microsoft Merger?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

With today’s Bing-Facebook partnership announcement fresh off the presses, it’s clear the companies are becoming more and more integrated. The essence of the announcement is that when searching on Bing, users will now be able to see their search results with an integrated context of their facebook network.

Image representing Bing as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

An example might be a search for “Glee”. In the past, a Bing search may show videos, blogs about Glee, the Glee fox page, etc. Now, there will be a Facebook component in the SERPs that will show the people in your Facebook network that “like” Glee and/or certain content around Glee. The idea around this is that you’ll be more interested in content that your network likes than content your network hasn’t yet discovered.

Previous efforts to make Bing social were

soft in the sense that they were hidden behind a tab rather than build into the main search results.

My favorite part of the announcement was when Mark Zuckerberg talked about Facebook’s interest in partnering with “scrappy” companies who have the incentive to go in new directions. This was not necessarily in reference to Microsoft but they were later referred to as an underdog, which everyone knows is true.

Privacy:

When you visit Bing, if you’re also logged onto Facebook or if you have an active Facebook cookie open, you’ll see a pop-up saying that your friends’ likes will be incorporated with the search results. You have the option of clicking “No Thanks” to opt-out. This will happen 5 times when you visit Bing and stop after that.

It’s clear that this announcement is a direct competitive move against Google. Facebook is already a formidable threat to Google as more and more people join the social network.

What would happen if Facebook and Microsoft merged?

When will Google’s social strategy going to be unveiled?

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