Facebook takes over display advertising, redesigns homepage
Facebook is taking over its own display advertising after years of partnering with Microsoft, the software giant announced Friday.
"We made the mutual decision that Facebook would take over responsibility for selling display advertisements on its own site," Microsoft Bing general manager Jon Tinter wrote on a company blog.
Facebook's partnership with Microsoft dates back to 2007 when the software giant invested $240 million in the social network, giving it a small ownership percentage in Facebook.
The deal also made Microsoft Facebook's exclusive advertising partner.
Facebook's growth and reported revenue gains may have caused the social network to revisit its advertising choices. By managing its own display advertising, Facebook likely believes it can generate more revenue on the same ad units.
"It just made more sense for [Facebook] to take the lead on this part of their advertising strategy," Tinter said.
Facebook is in the process of refocusing its relationship with Microsoft. Tinter said that Bing will stay on as Facebook's exclusive search provider. Microsoft will incorporate more Bing features, including tools to "help customers maker faster, smarter decisions." The company will also continue to manage the site's search advertising.
Originally, the scope of the deal between Microsoft and Facebook encompassed only the site's U.S. audience. Tinter wrote that Microsoft will now provide its search technology to all 400 million Facebook users around the globe.
A new design
Facebook's new advertising strategy starts in time for the launch of its new homepage design, which was unveiled late Thursday.
The new design boasts a revamped top menu, which includes a more prominent search box. The top menu will also display the user's latest notifications and messages.
A key component in Facebook's new design is its improved messaging service. Rather than be redirected to a new page, Facebook users can now access a drop-down menu that allows them to send messages to friends from any page on the site. The company has also moved some chat functions from the bottom right of the page to the left sidebar, making it easier for users to chat with those they typically communicate with.
Aside from that, the left sidebar boasts access to Facebook games and applications. Facebook believes it will help users more efficiently find new content.
Facebook has started rolling out its redesigned homepage to a small group of users. It expects to deploy the new design to its entire community in the near future.
-- Don Reisinger
Image of redesign via Facebook Blog.