Bing is the search engine that offers Like-based results thanks to its Facebook alliance, but could Microsoft be getting a monopoly on Twitter data as well? Last Friday, the CEOs of Microsoft and Twitter had breakfast, and the online marketing community is now wondering if they could have talked acquisition over coffee.
Forbes reported seeing Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Twitter's Dick Costolo sharing brunch last Friday. Though neither source would issue a comment on the nature of the meeting, it followed confirmation earlier last week from Microsoft senior director of corporate strategy and acquisitions Fritz Lanman that Microsoft had tried to acquire Facebook. Now, many wonder if a Bing/Twitter merger is in the works.
When the company tried to buy Facebook, it failed to acquire the social network, but it did get access to some much-coveted social data. With the rise of social search, Microsoft could get a competitive edge among consumers and marketers from a deal with Twitter – and Google may not like this.
Last week, Google announced that social sitelinks within search results are now available to users who create a Google profile. Users can see friends' content posted on Twitter and other profile pages in search results. A Microsoft/Twitter alliance might disrupt this social development on the search giant.