Facebook and Microsoft were in the headlines when the Redmond, Washington-based software giant outlasted Google in a bidding war to garner a $240 million stake in Facebook. It was that investment that pegged Facebook's valuation at a whopping $15 billion.Almost exactly one year ago,
In July of this year—following a generous amount of speculation on how the two companies would collaborate—Microsoft revealed plans for an integrated search and advertising deal that would incorporate Microsoft Live Search and advertising into the Facebook platform by fall. Today, we're seeing the first step in that integration with the release of Microsoft Live Search on Facebook.
Microsoft promises that adding Live Search functionality and advertising to the Facebook platform will improve the user experience by delivering "great search results while receiving highly relevant ads that are personalized by either my Facebook profile or search query."
Facebook claims the addition provides more relevant information to its users:
"For example, your friend may invite you to an event at a new restaurant. Without leaving Facebook, you can check out the details of the restaurant on the web. Or, say you see photos in your News Feed about a friend's recent trip to Dubai. Inspired, you can search the web for more information about travel without having to leave Facebook. Along with your search results, you may also begin to see ads for products, services or other things that are relevant to your query."
Will users find this functionality beneficial? It's hard to say. But one thing's for sure: the functionality provides yet another way to enrich the Facebook experience while keeping those users well-ensconced in the Facebook chrome.
And that's sure to be beneficial to Facebook.