Extending a partnership that dates back to 2006, Facebook today added Microsoft’s Live Search to its offerings, giving users in the U.S. a way to search the web without leaving Facebook.com. An announcement on the Live Search Blog also says Microsoft adCenter will display paid search ads next to those web search results. Microsoft has been providing ads on Facebook since August, 2006.
The initial implementation of Live Search is understated, to say the least. The Facebook search box gives no immediate indication of its new capabilities:
It’s not until you begin typing in the search box that a “Search the Web” option appears:
And after completing a search, “Web” is one of the tabs that appear above search results:
Finally, if you click the “Web” tab, in the upper right above the search results is a link to perform the same search on Live.com:
(Strangely, in the case of a search for my name, at least, the search results on Live.com are different than what shows up from Live.com under the “Web” tab on Facebook.)
On the Live Search Blog, Microsoft’s Angus Norton says they’ll rely on user feedback to “explore additional ways to integrate Live Search more deeply into the Facebook experience.” Facebook’s blog post announcement calls this a “first step,” and also promises more web integration in the future: “…we’re working on a number of other new ways to leverage all the web has to offer.”
The addition of Live Search on the Facebook platform helps Microsoft catch up with both Google and Yahoo. Google provides the web search and text-based ads on MySpace. Yahoo provides search, content (Yahoo! Answers and Yahoo! Music), and advertising on Bebo.