Forget Google! Microsoft has confirmed that it will soon offer Facebook users full access to its snazzy Bing search engine.
The Redmond-based company also announced that the new Facebook-Bing integration would be accessible to members living outside the US.
“Facebook has been a close and valued partner of Microsoft for a number of years – exclusively powering the web search results on Facebook, ” explained Bing general manager Jon Tinter.
“We have worked together on several fronts all designed to create great experiences and services for our users. As we begin 2010, we are stepping up that collaboration yet again.”
He added that Facebook would soon be “taking over” responsibility for selling advertisements on its own site.
“This change will enable Microsoft to continue its focus on driving strong performing campaigns across our own social media and communications tools, including Windows Live Messenger and Hotmail, and via rich content environments across MSN and Xbox Live,” said Tinter.
Meanwhile, Apple has reportedly kicked off negotiations with Microsoft to replace Google as the default search engine on its popular iPhone.
However, Peter Burrows and Cliff Edwards of BusinessWeek warned that an Apple-Bing deal “may prove” relatively short-lived.
“Given the importance of search and its tie to mobile advertising – and the iPhone maker’s desire to slow Google – Apple isn’t going to outsource the future.”