Facebook Dumps Bing, Also Confronts Google

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 15, 2014

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Facebook has ended its seven-year partnership with Microsoft’s Bing as its official search engine, according to several reports. On December 13 some tech news sites noted that Facebook is no longer showing Bing Web search results in Facebook search.

The news confirmed later by close sources from both companies, which have had a long-standing partnership since 2007, when Microsoft invested $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook.

As part of the deal, Microsoft had agreed to provide banner ads on Facebook’s website in international markets. However, by 2010, Facebook removed the use of Microsoft banners ads to take more control over its advertising business. But at the same time, Facebook expanded the use of Microsoft’s Bing search results to its service.

Challenging Google

Having tied up with Microsoft’s Bing, the number two search engine in the US, Facebook has offered competition to the search leader Google until now. But having dropped Bing from from its basket, Facebook wants to use its own search tool to challenge Google.

The company is also reportedly working on a tool that will allow its users to search for posts using keywords. In July this year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, commented that “’Search’, as a functionality, is extremely critical for Facebook that gets more than 1 billion search queries on a daily basis. He also hinted that the huge amount of information users shared within Facebook will eventually replace the need to search the Web for answers to their queries.

Zuckerberg considered an expanded version of Facebook Search a powerful tool, and in September, the company said it has also improved the Graph Search on-site tool to provide better results from the user search that initially expected. He called the experiment an “improvement to search on mobile.” 

Microsoft Bing may see a dip

While the company officials confirmed that even though two companies ended the Bing search partnership, they will continue to have a great partnership in lots of different areas, it is clear that while Facebook has greater growth opportunity, this change will not bring gain for Microsoft.

The problem with using Bing to display web search results within Facebook was that it just displayed search results from the wider web rather than just Facebook. The social networking site was afraid that may affect its ad revenue as people would drift away from them, and hence opted for this makeover for meeting intense competition.

While Facebook’s own search effort is likely to threaten Google’s search business in the long run, removing Bing from its search functionality may also see Microsoft’s Bing with a steep dip in the search market, believe experts.

As of September this year, ComScore had estimated that Bing ranked second in the share of the US search market with 19.4 percent. Google held a dominant position in market power with 67.3 percent, while Yahoo ranked third with 10 percent share.