The Instant Personalization-based deal could reward big brands with millions of 'likers,' while encouraging small businesses to plug into Facebook Places.
When Facebook named Bing as its fifth Instant Personalization partner today, the social media site appeared to significantly raise the worth of "likes" and check-ins that originate on its platform. And the companies' expanded search partnership gives big brands and local businesses all the more reason to invest in increasing their Facebook presence.
Beginning today, said Yusuf Mehdi, SVP of online audience business at Microsoft, Bing.com will start displaying pictures and names of a searcher's Facebook friends who have either "liked" a business or checked in at one via Facebook Places. In short, it's bringing a similar Facebook imprint in terms of look and feel to Bing that has for months been seen on other Instant Personalization partner sites - Yelp, Microsoft's Docs.com, Pandora, and Rotten Tomatoes.
"We are not just about blue links anymore," Mehdi said.
Search links for businesses with "likers" and check-ins will appear in Facebook's "Web Results" section below links for People, Pages, and Groups. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, on hand for the announcement at Microsoft's Redmond, WA-based headquarters, talked about how people react socially online similarly to offline. "Seeing friends' faces and names, we are hard-wired to have that influence us," he said.
The CEO is awarding Facebook.com advertisers who have been spending money with the primary purpose of increasing their "likers" base. To be clear, the more "likers" accrued by companies, the more Bing searches for their brand will appear with Facebook-driven social context. According to comScore's most recent statistics, Bing currently accounts for 11.2 percent of the marketplace. It trails Google (66.1 percent) and Yahoo (16.7).
Further, Mehdi explained that if a Bing.com user searched for a restaurant and is served a link with relevant Facebook friends' check-in data next to it, the user will be able to ping them without changing websites to ask if they enjoyed eating there. Therefore, interestingly, Bing.com appearances should theoretically positively and negatively affect some search advertisers from now on.
At any rate, the deal – the terms of which were not disclosed - could be seen as a shot across the bow to Foursquare and local businesses that have been staying loyal to it and other geo-social platforms instead of migrating efforts to Facebook Places. Now, getting people to check in on Places will extend the reach of such an action beyond Facebook.com and to Bing's search share.
Meanwhile, attempting to address privacy concerns, Mehdi said that Bing.com visitors will be greeted with a "No Thanks" option the initial five times that they next visit the site. After that, they will be able to turn the application on or off within their Facebook privacy controls in the same way as the other Instant Personalization sites.
Facebook and Microsoft first partnered on search back in March, when the social site unveiled the "Web Results" feature. Zuckerberg said that expanding Facebook's search relationship with Microsoft and Bing makes a lot of sense. And the world's most prominent young CEO may have taken at least a slight jab at looming Internet advertising competitor and search giant Google.
"I couldn't think of anyone better to work with to build the next generation of search," Zuckerberg said.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
September 17, 2014
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT