Facebook, Microsoft Re-up on Search, Not Display

Facebook has renewed its search partnership with Microsoft; however, the two companies have announced that Microsoft will no longer sell display advertising for the massive social networking property.

The two companies began their relationship in 2007, when Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook. Going forward, the Facebook/Microsoft search partnership will now extend beyond the U.S., reaching over 400 million users across the globe, said officials. Plus, Facebook has agreed to incorporate several of the newer features available via Bing, Microsoft’s cutting-edge search tool. Microsoft executives have yet to say which features those might be — only that they will start appearing over the next few weeks.

The continuation of the relationship between the two technology giants can be considered a win for Bing; even though search advertising on social networking sites is considered less than lucrative, Facebook represents a huge promotional platform for the fledgling Google competitor.

However, losing Facebook’s display inventory could represent a blow to Microsoft’s Media Network business. The software giant has billed that network as a premium, high-tech alternative to the slew of undifferentiated ad networks currently available.