Microsoft to stop selling display ads for Facebook

But Bing will now provide search results for Facebook users around the world

Microsoft is expanding its search arrangement with Facebook but reining in its advertising deal with the social-networking site.

Bing already runs search on Facebook in the U.S. But on Friday, Microsoft said Bing would also provide search results for all of Facebook's 400 million users around the world.

Microsoft also said that it would offer Facebook users additional Bing features, although it did not describe which.

"Our two companies will soon provide Facebook users with a more complete search experience by providing full access to great Bing features beyond a set of links, including richer answers combined with tools that help customers make faster, smarter decisions," Jon Tinter, general manager for Bing, wrote in a blog post.

In addition to the expanded search deal, however, Microsoft said it will stop handling display advertisements for Facebook. Facebook will sell display ads on its own, Tinter said.

"Given the kinds of advertisements that make sense within a product as unique as Facebook, it just made more sense for them to take the lead on this part of their advertising strategy," he wrote. Microsoft will continue to provide search advertisements to Facebook, he said.

Late last year the companies said that Microsoft would display Facebook users' public status updates and messages in Bing search results. At the time, Facebook said it would have to first roll out its publisher privacy control system to make sure that private messages weren't being indexed.

Tinter said that Facebook users would start to see "fruits of our expanded relationship ... in the weeks and months ahead."

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
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