Yesterday the web was buzzing over a screenshot showing a second search box in Facebook’s top navigation. The box let visitors perform a web search with the results reportedly being powered by Bing. Facebook released a statement denying any additional search testing and asserting that the box is the result of a virus or malware within the user’s computer.
While the second search feature is just a myth at this point, having a web search box on one of the world’s most popular sites could potentially allow Bing to quickly add market share and additional revenue. Facebook has 500 million users and if half of those users are active every month, there is a potential to gain hundreds of millions of queries.
Bing has seen consistent growth recently while Google has remained relatively flat with the latest search engine market share reports showing Bing has 29.2 percent of the market (if you count Yahoo! results) while Google has 65.6 percent of the market and actually lost market share in the latest month over month figures. A partnership would make sense since Microsoft has already invested in the company and Facebook already serves Bing results through their web search but getting to those results requires multiple steps.