Bing has been providing Web search results within Facebook since October 2008. At the time, it was a very basic implementation Web results that has evolved along the way.
Lost in the mystery buildup and the privacy/creepy/cool conversations that followed yesterday's big Facebook Graph Search announcement was the ongoing partnership Facebook has with Bing.
In a very Columbo-like moment at the end of the briefing, CEO Mark Zuckerberg exclaimed, "There's one more thing!" Seemingly an afterthought, he quickly added how the new Facebook search product would integrate with Microsoft's Bing search results.
Currently, when you perform a Web Results search on Facebook, you'll see two columns. The first column contains results that are displayed quite similar to a Bing search result with social information from Facebook overlaid with the results. This includes information like how many people have "liked" a result. The second column contains sponsored ads and Related Searches.
In a conversation with a Bing spokesperson, Search Engine Watch has learned Web search will return the same results. However, they are continuing to explore new ways to improve the current search partnership with Facebook.
In a Bing blog post, released near the end of the Facebook press conference, Bing announced the Graph Search project was a combined effort between both Facebook and Bing engineers:
"As part of this product, our two engineering teams worked together to advance a unified search experience. That means that when people want to search beyond Facebook, they see web search results from Bing with social context and additional information such as Facebook pages."
Bing has been getting more social interactions into their social sidebar for the past several years, something expected to continue to grow throughout the foreseeable future. Currently, Bing results provide information from Facebook, Twitter, Klout and Quora.
With Facebook's Instagram purchase last year, one could only surmise that Instagram integration would be coming soon. Zuckerberg dismissed the possibility yesterday stating, "That should be on the list of things that we will hopefully one day get to."
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