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10/21/2009
06:30 PM
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Web 2.0 Summit: Facebook Bets On Wisdom Of Friends

The informational Web is being eclipsed by the social Web, according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Following Microsoft's announcement at the Web 2.0 Summit on Wednesday morning that its Bing search engine will begin indexing Facebook and Twitter data, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg confirmed the deal without clarifying when Facebook updates will appear in Bing.

"We're working with Microsoft to give them a feed of our data that's open to the public," Sandberg said.

Pressed on whether Facebook might strike a similar deal with Google, Sandberg, a former Google employee, said she had nothing to announce.

But Facebook's data in many ways speaks for itself. The company is profitable and cash flow positive. People are spending 8 billion minutes online every day using Facebook and sharing 2 billion pieces of content every week.

If Google wants to stick to its mission to organize the world's information, it pretty much has to strike a deal with Facebook to include all that social data in its search results.

And indeed, Google did the next best thing: On Wednesday afternoon, Google's Marissa Mayer said that Google has reached a deal with Twitter to include tweets in its search results.

Yet, to hear Sandberg tell it, the search era is waning. More and more, Web traffic -- revenue in other words -- is being driven by social sites like Facebook and Twitter.

"There is a very fundamental shift going on from the information Web to the social Web," she said. "Google provides a very important service but it's information from strangers. We believe in the wisdom of friends."

And with the shift toward the social Web, Facebook aims to fulfill the long deferred promise of online advertising, ads that promote a one-to-one relationship between marketers and consumers.

Despite all the talk about targeted advertising online, Sandberg said that a lot of brand advertising is still one-to-many blasting.

Facebook's promise is making marketing social. "Facebook is where you are yourself, your authentic self-on the Web," she said. "You're able to engage with marketers the way you would with your friends."

The most influential event about the Enterprise 2.0 movement is coming to San Francisco this fall: Enterprise 2.0 Conference Find out more and register.

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