This morning Kara Swisher broke the news that Microsoft will be using Facebook and Twitter updates to integrate into the Bing search engine. While we don’t know how many users make their status updates public, it appears that those who do will have their statuses integrated into Bing search. So will this new integration help Bing steal market share from Google? Not necessarily because it appears that both Facebook and Twitter are also talking to Google, according to Swisher.
While there are millions of people posting status updates, Facebook has yet to provide any significant incentive for users to make their updates public. While it would be interesting for Bing to leverage Facebook’s privacy settings for search, I’m doubtful that we’d initially see such a robust offering. However there will be a new search privacy settings according to Mike Arrington who says that:
Facebook is creating privacy controls, we’ve learned, that will allow users to set even previously public status updates to private, meaning search engines will be prohibited from indexing the content.
While the official announcements will come later this afternoon (and I’m sure more details to follow), this is something that has been speculated about for some time now for Twitter. However there has been little noise about Facebook integrating status updates into search. For a while I’ve been arguing that Facebook has the opportunity to create a better search engine given the volume of content going into their site each day.
For now, Facebook may simply have an additional revenue stream by granting access to their data. For now, Facebook will now have a new distribution channel for their status updates that drive more traffic back to the site. To see Facebook partner with Google though sounds un-Facebook-like. It will be interesting to see how this pans out over the coming days.