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Facebook and Microsoft complete Live Search crowbarring trick

'Check out this restaurant...bitch'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Microsoft operation Force-feed Live Search is now making official use of the company's $240m stake in Facebook.

The social networking site has added an option (for US members) to retrieve Live Search results from the entire web courtesy the Facebook search bar.

Of course, along with the results come a sidebar of contextual ads based on data snooped from the user's profile or search query. Readers pondering the true motivation behind the change need look no further. Business is business.

Live Search integration was unveiled on both the official Facebook blog and Live Search blog. The change was first announced back in July but it apparently took a couple of months to work out the kinks.

So why in the blue blazes would someone want to search the web from Facebook? That's a terrific question. Facebook's Leah Pearlman offers a crack at:

"For example, your friend may invite you to an event at a new restaurant. Without leaving Facebook, you can check out the details of the restaurant on the web," she wrote.

To swing the deal, Microsoft was even willing to give up the exclusivity of its banner advertising on Facebook. Microsoft, as you may know, has been fighting hard to make its web search business relevant by making Live Search the default setting on its own apps, paying PC manufacturers to do the same — and yes, even paying folks to use Live.

Oddly, the integration seems like it could do little for Live Search brand recognition, as the only indication Microsoft is behind the search is a small "Advance search on Live.com" link on the results page. (Choosing an "advance search" appears to simply include Microsoft-sponsored ads in the mix).

Meanwhile, Facebook just wants some damn revenue. No word yet if Live Search will be extended to Facebook users outside of the States. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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