Facebook dropped Microsoft's Bing as its search provider and will no longer include its results on the social network, the company confirmed this weekend. The decision follows the relaunch of Facebook's own internal search engine last week.
Facebook and Microsoft partnered in January 2013 to bring Bing search results to Graph Search, the social network's then-newly announced search engine. During last year's announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the move would "show you world class search results for things that don't match your query."
The beta version of Graph Search only let you search for contextual phrases such as "friends who live in San Francisco" or "friends who work for Microsoft." Bing provided search results for all other queries.
At the time, Zuckerberg acknowledged that users don't come to Facebook to perform web searches, "but if we can't find what you're looking for, it's a good idea to have this." A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that the social network ended its partnership with Bing to concentrate on its own search feature.
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"We're not currently showing web search results in Facebook Search because we're focused on helping people find what's been shared with them on Facebook," the spokesperson said. "We continue to have a great partnership with Microsoft in lots of different areas."
The decision to sever ties with Bing isn't unexpected. Last week, Facebook announced new capabilities for Facebook Search and finally extended it to mobile after nearly two years in beta. The updated search function now lets you search your and your friends' old posts for keyword-based updates, links, pictures, comments, and videos.
"You've told us the most important thing is being able to find posts you've seen before, and now you can," Facebook's Tom Stocky, vice president of search, said in a blog post. "With a quick search, you can get back to a fun video from your graduation, a news article you've been meaning to read, or photos from your friend's wedding last summer."
In a call with investors in July, Zuckerberg pegged search as one of the company's strongest opportunities for growth. Users perform more than 1 billion searches every day on Facebook, he said, and suggested that the social network could one day replace traditional search engines.
"There [are] more than a trillion posts, which, some of the search engineers on the team like to remind me, is bigger than any web search corpus out there," Zuckerberg said.
While users likely won't miss the Bing integration, Microsoft could take a hit. According to ComScore, Bing represented 19% of web searches under its Facebook partnership, compared with Google's 67% market share.
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