Microsoft and Facebook have reportedly come to an agreement and signed a deal that will bring Microsoft’s Live Search and Advertising operations to Facebook.
The exact date for the launch of this new project is yet to be decided, but is expected to be by the end of this year.
Microsoft already has strong ties with Facebook, since the company bought a 5% stake in the social network last October, and has been providing contextual advertising on Facebook. The deal cost them $240 million at the time, but there had been no mention about whether search operations would be a part of the deal or not.
Facebook, which is believed to have over 100 million users worldwide, is expected to be of great help to Microsoft in gaining more exposure, and eventually improving their market share in the field of search.
Google and MySpace have a similar agreement in place, which guarantees MySpace an annual income of $900 million. However, the partnership has not done as well as expected, and Google has indicated that they are looking for ways to better monetise the deal.
While it is obvious, that people will continue to conduct their primary searches through the site of their preference – Google, it is expected that at least a few users will make use of the search functions on popular partner sites such as Facebook, which could boost Microsoft Live Search numbers over time.