As I (and others) have suggested in numerous articles in the past, the competitive landscape around search and social media could get really interesting if Facebook decided to start getting more involved with search. Facebook and Google are competitors. Microsoft and Google are competitors. Facebook and Microsoft (Bing, in particular) are partners. Bing integrates Facebook into its search engine. Facebook uses Bing for web search results.
Now, Facebook is reportedly showing users what looks like a big Bing homepage when they log out.
It’s a new ad the company is trying. Only some users are seeing it. I’m not seeing an ad in this spot at all right now, but Josh Constine at TechCrunch has a screenshot. It essentially just looks like the Bing homepage, like above, and lets users search Bing as they’re leaving Facebook (apparently opening the search in a new browser tab).
While it may just be an ad, and not really any new search offering from Facebook, it’s still a very prominent placement for Bing as millions of Facebook users log out on a regular basis. One can only imagine that a web search is often their next web activity.
I still expect that we’ll see Facebook place more emphasis on search in the future. Remember when Twitter had that “aha” moment and added search to its home page? Now, it’s a go-to resource for real-time info in an areas where Google is failing. Facebook is way bigger, and is in great need of better search functionality. It may just take a partner like Bing to help with that.