Facebook and Microsoft are reportedly talking about expanding their search partnership. Currently, Bing supplies web results for Facebook’s own search feature. These talks could lead to Bing getting Facebook "like" data for use in its own search engine.
The news comes from Kara Swisher, who cites "several people with knowledge of the situation". She writes, "While the deal is not closed and talks could end without result, such information might yield a treasure trove of insight for both search users and advertisers. That’s because it represents search based on what people are actually interested in rather than just crunching massive amounts of information and muscling it into something useful."
Her sources said that the partnership would never offer up any Facebook data that isn’t publicly available.
Naturally, if Bing is able to get this information, it will have one important piece of the web that Google doesn’t, but that’s not to say that Google wouldn’t eventually get the same data. Adam Ostrow at Mashable reminds us that both search engines got public data from Facebook for their realtime search initiatives.
Personally, I’m more interested in what Facebook intends to do with the data itself. The company has been testing a feature in which it shows all liked articles in its search results. The results themselves are shown, at least partially, based on number of likes and the number of friends who liked particular pieces of content.
Facebook surpassed Google in time spent on site, according to a recent report.