Facebook Inc. has discontinued showing the search results from Microsoft Bing search engine within its graph search results, bringing the four year partnership between the two to an abrupt end. Bing is owned by Microsoft which continues to hold a small stake (1.6%) in the networking company. A stake which is valuable inspite of being tiny.
The move was not announced by the company and it is being conjectured that it probably happened at the same time when they rolled out their improved search feature which enables users to search for specific posts using certain keywords instead of just people.
In a statement to Venture Beat, a spokesperson of the company said “We’re not currently showing web search results in Facebook Search because we’re focused on helping people find what’s been shared with them on Facebook.” Microsoft also chimed in, saying “we continue to partner with Facebook in many different areas.”
Microsoft also confirmed the move, almost echoing the statement made by the popular site. “Facebook recently changed its search experience to focus on helping people tap into information that’s been shared with them on Facebook vs. a broader set of Web results,” a Microsoft spokesman said Friday.
The decision to draw curtains on its four year old association with Bing points to the importance which the networking giant sees in Web search technology, which has hitherto been dominated by Google. Searches over the networking site aim at helping users connect with friends and to find other information stored in the huge databases of the 1.35 billion people strong site. In addition to that, the search results over this site also included links to standalone sites, and these were based on Bong search.
The Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had flagged search as one of the company’s key growth initiatives, noting that the site gets more than 1 billion search queries every day. He had also hinted that the huge user data stored within the site could perhaps replace web search in some aspects, if not all eventually.
“There is more than a trillion posts, which some of the search engineers on the team like to remind me, is bigger than any Web search corpus out there,” Zuckerberg said on a conference call with analysts in July.
Microsoft owned Bing is the second most popular search engine in the U.S., with almost 20% of the total web searches being attributed to them. Facebook, on the other hand, is today valued at $211 billion. The relationship between the two at the moment can best be described by one word- “COMPLICATED”!!