All Things Digital has exclusive news that Microsoft is in talks with Facebook about deepening their search entanglement. The deal hinges around Microsoft’s access to data acquired from Facebook’s famous Like button.
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.
Facebook has spent a lot of time making their Like button ubiquitous across the web. Originally, it just stuck close to home, attached to elements within Facebook’s pages, such as friend status updates, advertisements, and fan pages; but as Facebook began to spread out into the wilds of the world wide web, Like buttons started appearing on homepages, articles, products, and so forth. Now anyone with a little bit of HTML knowledge can implement a Like button on their page and their fans can Like them on Facebook.
This proliferation gives Facebook a staggering amount of insight into not just what web surfers are looking at, but what they actually take the time to interact with and want to let their friends know about. This is something that any search giant—especially Microsoft’s Bing—will want in on.
Bing will need something innovating to aid them in their struggle against Google’s overall market and advertising dominance and such a deal with Facebook will position them to do just that.