How valuable is that little search box at the top of Facebook? Microsoft definitely thinks it’s worth a lot and has now entered a partnership with Facebook to provide search according to Searchengineland.com. The partnership will bring Microsoft Live search results to the Facebook site. Two days ago I was talking to a fellow f8 attendee about the potential for search on the Facebook site. We were discussing what most people are searching for on Facebook. Are users just searching for people or are they searching for brands and other keywords?
Based on this new Microsoft search agreement, in which few details have been revealed, it is clear that Facebook and Microsoft realize the real potential with search on the site and given their enormous traffic there is a good chance that Facebook could become a search force to be reckoned with. Currently search is the most profitable technology on the web and it’s an area that Google has continued to dominate. Microsoft is the third largest search provider on the web and this partnership with Facebook could give Microsoft a substantial boost.
When Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the post-keynote press event yesterday he emphasized that he is still not focused on monetization. Instead, it is critical for the company to continue to build out the mission of Facebook: “Give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” In the process of making the world more open and connected it is assumed that a revolutionary and previously unknown monetization model will reveal itself.
Honestly, it’s the same strategy that Google used and soon enough they became the most profitable internet company in the world. Whether or not the monetization problem is solved, it looks like Facebook will have at least one more revenue source for the time being. Based on the history of the Google-MySpace agreement, there’s a good chance that this search agreement will turn out the same way.