Big win for Microsoft: Facebook partnering with Bing for “Graph Search”

While employees at Google may be worried about Facebook’s latest move, the Bing people over at Microsoft are pumping their fists.

That’s because Facebook is partnering with Bing for its new search product called “Graph Search.” Graph Search is all about helping Facebook users search for things their friends have shared. For example, you can find out which restaurants your friends have been frequenting or which grocery store your friends go to most often.

In the case that there are no answers, Facebook is turning to Bing for help. If your Graph Search comes up empty, Facebook will provide Bing results for the web at large. Now your Bing web search results on Facebook will be powered with social context and additional goodies like Facebook pages.

“To the Facebook user, they will not only see useful results, but we think have serendipitous experiences,” Bing writes on this blog post. Imagine searching for Jay-Z concerts on Facebook, and not only finding Facebook content, but also web results from Bing including concert tickets, news about the tour and other web results — annotated with Facebook Likes and Shares. We think this is a powerful combination.”

During Tuesday’s announcement, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his company has a “great partnership with the folks over at Microsoft” and also added that he’s open to working with other search engines like Google, so long as they agree with Facebook’s privacy policies.

Bing is already the default search engine for web results on Facebook, but this is a huge bonus. Now when you do a web search on Facebook, you’ll be given Bing results on the left column with information such as the number of Facebook “likes” on a result. The right hand column will be home to Facebook Pages and apps related to your search.

What does it all mean? Well, for one, this is a big win for both Facebook and Microsoft in terms of competing with that other search giant named Google. The more people search on Facebook, the better it is for Bing and Microsoft.

It also continues a strong relationship between Facebook and Microsoft, a partnership that dates back to 2007 when Microsoft invested $240 million in the social network.

Previously on GeekWire: Facebook unveils social search engine “Graph Search”

  • Guest

    Fantastic move. Some called Steve an ignorant baldy manky buffoon who should be summarily dismissed from all management positions when he bought 2.5% of Facebook at a then-impossible valuation of $10 billion. Today, Facebook is worth $50 billion and could become the world’s first trillion-dollar company, and Bing just got a billion more users. This synergy should literally be added to the Wikipedia entry on “win-win” as the canonical example thereof.

    Starting today, a *billion* pairs of eyes now stare at Bing on phones, tablets, and PCs. This is huge.

    • SpeedVX

      While I agree that it is a fantastic move, the idea that a billion pairs of eyes now stare at Bing on phones, tablets and PCs actually isn’t true. First, Graph Search is in beta, so it is only available to a very small number people right now. Second, Facebook is only introducing this on desktop right now, so Graph Search, even if you can get it, won’t be available on phones or tablets for a while (though Zuckerberg did mention that they are working on it).

    • Guest

      FB is doing this in house. Bing is only along for the ride on things FB’s new service can’t answer. Ballmer’s FB investment was about search, not equity investment. And Bing has lost $8 billion and counting, not including the FB investment. Ballmer is a failure who has systematically destroyed the industry leading position and market valuation he inherited. This FB news doesn’t change that in the slightest. In fact it shows that FB is committed to doing their own thing in search irrespective of MS and its minor ownership share.

    • guest

      “Facebook is worth $50 billion and could become the world’s first trillion-dollar company”

      Right, and MS could set new highs. Both have the same chance of occurring, which is to say zero.

  • Guest

    Hm, be careful who you sleep with. Facebook has already been on shaky ground in the eyes of its user base and Microsoft is somewhat known for a kiss of slow death to its partners. Great strategic move for Microsoft, no doubt. However, potentially not so much for Facebook. They could maneuver themselves to become the next acquisition target (right after Nokia). Microsoft (with Skype) absorbing Nokia and FB could actually become a winning might in mobile. Maybe that was the plan all along.

    • Another Guest

      Is Facebook really partnered with Microsoft/Bing, or just flatly rejected by Google?

      The Microsoft deal with Facebook came soon after the time when Google (and Yahoo! before them) failed to reach a deal with Facebook. Larry & Sergey wanted the whole thing (as did Y!), whereas Ballmer was happy to just write a check and leave Zuck alone to build a business.

      • Guest

        Neither. They’re taking a major step towards being self sufficient from either.

    • lenin lukose

      Who is telling Facebook is on shaky grounds. Its clearly an assumption. Google plus is no where near, lot many friends are added into google plus, but I cant see people posting anything in google plus as in facebook. Facebook is much more lively than Google plus. Big markets like India, Brazil had already away from Orkut, a google endevour. Now they are all in Facebook and its growing much faster than Google plus.

  • Guest

    So it’s Microsoft/Facebook against Apple/Google now. (Yeah, if you didn’t get that yet, Apple and Google have built a de facto alliance against Microsoft, nevermind what Jobs supposedly said about Google).

    • Guest

      Hardly. There’s Google and then a bunch of also rans. Of the latter, Facebook is the only one with a competitive advantage that could potentially be disruptive. Apple and Google are in a fight to the death. That’s the new MS/Apple war now that Apple vanquished MS. And Apple will do whatever it can to eventually remove all Google solutions from iOS. Both FB and Apple are only working with MS because it’s expedient or was otherwise valuable for their immediate needs. Either will happily dump MS when they can. MS meanwhile desperately needs both and Yahoo or else they have to admit Bing has been another monumental failure.

  • copperline

    Great to see the Facebook relationship bear fruit for MS. Makes me wonder if this will turn out to be a case where the company that partners smartly (Microsoft) does better than the firm that competes directly (Google). Not an expert on this but am curious what other folks that really know the space think.

  • Guest

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this partnership announcement is due to a shotgun wedding.

    • mark

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a negative comment on any MS development.

  • sandy@aht