Facebook is going after YouTube with a robust video platform, but according to reports, the social network could be going after Google with an aggressive move. Reuters reports that Facebook has changed its relationship with Microsoft’s Bing, no longer supporting the site’s results.
A Facebook spokesperson explained the search moves to Reuters:
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. We continue to have a great partnership with Microsoft in lots of different areas.
Facebook made some important search changes recently, bringing a deeper version of search to Android and the Web, allowing users to search for individual posts. Now, when you search for something through the Facebook search bar, you don’t get Web results — only Facebook.
Bing and Facebook have enjoyed a fruitful relationship, dating back to 2007. Now it appears it’s time to change as Facebook possibly readies itself to launch a new search product, keeping its users within the big blue walls.
Sterne Agee Analyst Arvind Bhatia feels this is a strongly positive decision for Facebook:
With 1 billion queries a day and a trillion posts in the Facebook corpus, search is already a meaningful activity on Facebook today. In the early part of last week, FB announced a revamp of its search offering with the goal of making Search on Facebook more intuitive i.e., easier to find old posts, photos, videos, etc. In addition, over the weekend, FB stopped including Bing search results as part of Graph Search. Also, last week FB refreshed its Trending product, which appears on the right hand side of each user’s news feed. The refresh of the Trending product is geared towards making it easier to find information on the popular stories of the day along with user comments (similar to Twitter-$37.10-Neutral). Collectively, we see these efforts as a positive sign suggesting FB is beginning to feel strong enough about its own search product. We think FB’s renewed efforts in Search could boost engagement near-term and ultimately boost monetization for FB. In the long run, we would not be surprised if FB developed its own search engine to crawl the wider web.
Readers: How do you feel about a Facebook search engine?