Facebook is no longer showing search results from Microsoft's Bing search engine on its on-site Graph Search product, as Reuters reports. The move apparently happened four days ago, alongside an update that improved Graph Search so that it could return specific posts when you search instead of just people. In a statement to Venture Beat, a spokesperson said, "We’re not currently showing web search results in Facebook Search because we’re focused on helping people find what’s been shared with them on Facebook." Microsoft also chimed in, saying "we continue to partner with Facebook in many different areas."
Search is far from a "pillar" for Facebook
When it was first introduced in January 2013, Bing's integration with Facebook's search engine was seen as a potentially important way that Microsoft could compete with Google. Alongside Facebook's own semi-programmable search queries, users could plug in web searches that would return structured information like the local weather. At the time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that searching the web wasn't core to Facebook: "We don't think a lot of people will come to Facebook to do web searches, but if we can't find what you're looking for, it's good to have this."
Indeed, the fact that we and other sites are just now noticing a change that Microsoft itself says happened "a while ago" is clear evidence that nobody's looking at Facebook as a default search engine. The change isn't great for Microsoft, but more importantly it's yet another sign that while Graph Search might be a neat way to find that dude who was in your college basketweaving class, it's not going to become a vital part of our digital lives. It's certainly not the "third pillar of Facebook," which is how Zuckerberg introduced it back in 2013.
But don't feel bad for the world's biggest social network because it hasn't figured out web search — the world's biggest web search company definitely hasn't figured out social networking.