Microsoft to power Facebook search ads

Software company will deliver an API that Facebook can use to integrate both Microsoft's Web search and its paid search results into the social network's U.S. site.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. PDT with more details on the search deal.

In the coming months, Facebook will begin powering its Web search and related sponsored text links with Microsoft's technology, in an expansion of a strategic relationship between the two companies.

Microsoft's search unit head Satya Nadella said Thursday that Microsoft will deliver an API (application programming interface) that Facebook can use to integrate both Microsoft's Web search and its paid search results into the social network's U.S. site. Facebook currently uses a homegrown search engine for its social network, and it does not include results from the Web. The deal with Microsoft will be exclusive for the United States only.

"That's something they will launch in the fall," Nadella said at Microsoft's financial analyst meeting in Redmond, Wash.

Last October, Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook, giving the social network a reported valuation of $15 billion. At the time, the two companies signed an ad deal under which Microsoft would sell and serve contextual brand ads for Facebook.

Microsoft rival Google provides search and sponsored search listings to Facebook competitor MySpace.

CNET News' Ina Fried contributed to this report.
 

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