Facebook will introduce its own search engine on Monday after quietly removing Microsoft’s Bing a few days ago. The social network used Bing for its Graph Search platform for a long time, but dumping the search provider has really something to do with its plans to debut its homegrown search facility soon. No announcements were made, but the social titan confirmed the news to Reuters. Its own tool will allow users to search for information from the comments posted by their friends within the social networking site.
Facebook has been developing its search products and Bing’s role was to provide results outside its Interest Graph to prevent Google from the system. Recently, Facebook’s search tool was updated to allow searching for specific posts instead of pages and users, making it look like an authentic search engine.
A Facebook spokesperson said they do not show search results from the Web since they are focused on allowing people find what have been shared with them on the site itself. He added, they will continue to have a healthy partnership with Microsoft in other areas. A similar message was heard from Microsoft, that the online social networking service alters its search tool so people can look for information that was shared with them within the social site, rather than getting broader Web results. The Windows platform maker also confirmed their partnership in other areas.
While Bing has helped Facebook include links to other websites, the latter’s searchers are directed toward connecting users with friends and find information within the networking service. In a conference call with analysts in July, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook shared that the service has more than a billion queries every day. He hinted that the trillion posts users have been sharing with each other would eventually require a need to replace Web search results to specific queries.
Perhaps, another reason for Zuck’s service to avoid broader search results from the Web is, it can take users away from the site, which is not favorable to its posted ads. While Facebook will introduce its own search engine on Monday, it is still uncertain if it will likewise expand its search tool in the future, such as displaying pages in a controlled browser.
According to research company comScore, Bing is the No. 2 Web search provider in the United States. Facebook and Microsoft have great relationship which is shown with the latter’s $240 million investment in Zuck’s company for a 1.6 percent stake on October 2007. It was agreed that Bing’s owner will provide banner ads on international Facebook sites.
In 2001, the use of Microsoft banner ads stopped as Facebook took more control of its advertising business. At the same time, Zuckerberg’s social service expanded the use of Bing to Facebook’s international versions.
On January 2013, the importance of Web search results within the social networking platform was emphasized by a representative of the Redmond, WA company that the site’s users do various types of searches. However, Bing was still dumped and Facebook will already introduce its own search engine on Monday. The separation is perhaps a blow to Microsoft but then the latter enjoys a deal to power Yahoo, which brings the software company’s market share to about 15 percent, though it still is far from the 54 percent of the leading search giant Google. Users also have the options to switch into Google in the default search bars of Safari and Firefox.
By Judith Aparri
Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble – Flicker License