Microsoft’s Facebook Friendship

Microsoft is wearing its social media heart on its sleeve this week.

The software company is in talks to acquire a stake of up to 5 percent in Facebook, the social networking site, the Wall Street Journal reported today.

On Tuesday, Matthew Carr, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solution display product marketing, appeared on a MIXX panel on convergence and politely skirted a question posed by Steven Levy, Newsweek chief technology writer and the panel’s moderator.
“We have a great relationship [with Facebook] already and we expect for that to continue,” Carr said.

A look at Microsoft’s booth at the MIXX conference and expo this week at the Crowne Plaza Times Square shows how much the company is flirting with social networking.

Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions’ booth prominently promotes two vehicles for brand advertisers: social media and MSN video. In a hand out, Microsoft also points out that its Windows Live, in addition to Facebook and Digg, another networking site, help over 67 million people stay in touch.

“It’s about time they [Microsoft] did something. Look at everything they missed out on buying,” said one wag at MIXX.

Attending an Advertising Week reception, sponsored by Microsoft and Universal McCann, were digital advertising solutions team members who work with Facebook. They, of course, were mum on any potential deal with Facebook.

In August 2006, Facebook and Microsoft struck a deal to use Microsoft’s advertising technology. Microsoft was also designated the exclusive provider of banner advertising and sponsored links on Facebook. At that time, Facebook had 9 million registered users compared to 42 million today.

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