With Bing, That Sound You Hear Is Facebook & Twitter Saying, 'Ka-Ching!'

As I write this, Bing is out there applying its algorithm to every inane status update I've ever made. Little did I know that insights like these would be, in a more public way than I ever imagined, part of my personal brand:


  •        "time to get back on the carpool tip...see ya."


  •        "figured out which of the two eggs in the fridge was hard-boiled. thank you Google!"

  •         "Just spilled entire cup of coffee. note to self: look at the surface you're putting it on while you're putting it on there. Doh!"

    I know it's October, but it's time to do some spring cleaning on the old personal brand, doncha think? 

    The reason I say this, in case you haven't heard through one of your 16 social media channels, is that Microsoft is expected to announce later today that tweets and Facebook status updates will be searchable via Bing, expanding what we all perceived to be the potential audience for the inania that makes up our daily lives. Better yet, the deal is nonexclusive, which means, at any second, Google will be sifting through your boring life, too!.



    But kidding aside, I do wonder if these deals are going to be more valuable to Twitter and Facebook than they are to us. According to AllThingsD, money will change hands, which is a relief, if you've ever fretted, as I have, about whether these organizations would ever actually learn to charge for what they offer. Facebook and Twitter are supposed to be getting paid both for offering their data streams to Bing and also through revenue-sharing deals, which presumably would involve getting a cut of the advertising revenue from Bing. That's good news, and -- not to contradict myself -- it actually may help users, since it makes money for both Twitter and Facebook without ads cluttering up the services themselves, because they won't reside there.

    But let me be an ingrate and question just how valuable most of this data is. The answer is, it's not very valuable at all. Do you really think there would be a high click-through rate on ads promoting "hard-boiled eggs" that ran next to my hard-boiled egg tweet? How about the coffee one? A Starbucks VIA text ad, perhaps?

    Of course these tweets of mine won't be moneymakers. But even if I'm oversimplifying, I think the main reasons these deals are coming together is for bragging rights on Bing's part, and also because an overriding belief here in 2009 is that just because data exists, it needs to be searchable. To prove my point, I just took a gander at a Bing-Twitter site that's already up; of course, a number of the current hot topics are devoted to Bing, Twitter and Microsoft. Social media types, including myself, are nothing if not navel-gazing.

    In the long run, however, most of this data will be simply unimportant, except to marketers, news organizations and, perhaps, cultural anthropologists. The real revenue may be in custom data made available to companies and other entities trying to get a pulse on topics that are important to them, not in traditional search advertising.

    As these deals are not yet announced, I've had to speculate wildly in this column -- maybe the contours of how these partnerships will work will prove different than the intelligence that's out there as of 3:15 p.m. EST. I decided to write about it anyway, because the arrival of real-time search is huge news. The question for the long term, however, is how big.

  • 7 comments about "With Bing, That Sound You Hear Is Facebook & Twitter Saying, 'Ka-Ching!' ".
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    1. Renee Mcgivern from Spark Plug Consulting, October 21, 2009 at 5:28 p.m.

      There's already enough to sift through in search results as it is. It'll be too much about too little. It's actually disturbing to think of the big brother nature of this. And do I get to say whether my Facebook page is searchable? I don't want it to be. Uff da (a Minnesota-Norwegian expression).

    2. Lorraine Flett from Nothing Sacred Productions, October 21, 2009 at 5:47 p.m.

      Twitter is already searchable to really that's no big deal, but Facebook? Isn't the point that we're sharing only with the people we want, our family, friends and network? This is an invasion in privacy.

    3. James Bell, October 21, 2009 at 8:38 p.m.

      From my perspective, this news highlights how innane, noisy and purposeless most posting on FB and Twitter has been and is. If the thought of search invading your posted thoughts bothers you, then you are part of this problem.

    4. Wendy Jameson from ColnaTec, October 21, 2009 at 9:02 p.m.

      Totally agree with Lorraine. I thought my FB updates were semi-private, at least with those I trust to not blab them all over the internet. I'm otherwise careful with my personal information, but I recently posted a link to a party with my home address, date, time, etc to my FB. Yes, those among my friends (which I guard very carefully to be only those I trust or know well) COULD copy and paste on their blog, but the point is that I trust them not to do that. This is a serious invasion of my privacy!!!

    5. Cathy Taylor from MediaPost, October 21, 2009 at 9:56 p.m.

      Hi guys,
      My understanding, and I don't think I was too clear about this, is that this will not make all of your status updates public. It does definitely add to the reasons why settings are becoming increasingly important.

      On another note, Google announced its real-time search deal with Twitter today, too.

      Thanks for your comments.


    6. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, October 22, 2009 at 10:24 a.m.

      Since 90% of conversations are plain babble where is the value in this? If I search on Bing or Google for Coca Cola and what is returned are 587 tweets stating 'had a coke with my burger' doesn't this then make search worthless vs valuable? And to tell you the truth most of us really don't care about most conversations. We are very busy and only want things that are relevant. As for Privacy if people feel big brother is watching they will run for cover.

      Two days ago was some national atheist day. So the words No God were the number one trend on Twitter. Clicking No God returned thousands of tweets all saying "Why is No God the number one trend?" or "Is there really No God?" All those tweets had zero value to anyone or the conversational ecosystem. And we want to sift through that stuff?

    7. Kristin Thompson from RedShift, October 27, 2009 at 1:59 p.m.

      New graduates: PLEASE clean up your facebooks and myspaces. No employer wants to see pics of your keg stands our status updates regarnding last night's exploits on Bing!

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