A report this afternoon says Facebook is testing a web search box next to its existing site search. The story on the unofficial All Facebook blog — complete with a screenshot — is causing a stir in the Internet search world this afternoon, and rightly so. If it happens, Facebook would be throwing some huge traffic in the direction of whichever web search partner it works with.
And the assumption is that the partner would be Microsoft Bing, given the Redmond company’s minority stake in the social network, and what appears to be a solid partnership between the companies.
As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said last fall, “The thing that makes Microsoft a great partner for us is that they really are the underdog here. Because of that, they’re in a structural position where they’re incentivized to just go all out and innovate.”
That said, even if the report is true, there’s no guarantee that Facebook would implement the feature widely, and there’s no guarantee that it would go with Bing as it’s provider. For the record, we’ve checked with representatives of Microsoft (which gave us the official no comment) and Facebook, which hasn’t yet responded. Stay tuned, this could get interesting.