Facebook has ended its deal with Microsoft to show Bing web results in its search engine, instead using its own results powered by the social media habits of its users.
Facebook will now focus on offering powerful tools for finding people, posts and news using its own fledgling ‘Graph Search’ tool.
With well over a billion active users, Facebook building its own search tool and attempting to control which information is surfaced makes sense.
Previously, Facebook’s search function used Bing to show results whenever it wasn’t able to provide its own results for the last few years.
The company said in a statement that “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.”
Facebook’s search engine finally launched on mobile this week for the first time and the company said that it’s also bringing search to other languages “eventually.”
Analysis- another brick in the walled garden?
Commenting on the move, search veteran Martin Dinham, director at digital marketing agency Barracuda, said: “This is an interesting development for a few reasons. Firstly, it is a blow for Bing in terms of absolute user numbers (and data) for its search engine.
“Despite developments and marketing, Bing has pretty much failed to move the needle in terms of market share against Google and this move is only likely to bolster the perception that it’s a search engine going nowhere.
“Secondly however, its a further development in Facebooks move towards being a “walled garden” – ie it wants to channel all user activity into staying on Facebook and make it more difficult to leave their ecosystem and into external websites via search results. It’s also easy to speculate that this means that development of their own internal search technology is a priority for Facebook.
“Interestingly it means that despite the visibility of the “conventional” search engines such as Google and Bing, a huge proportion of retail search takes place on another search engine (via Amazon) and this is now also the case on social media.”