In the past year, Facebook and Microsoft have started to work closely together. Microsoft has for instance added Facebook to its recently purchased Skype software, and to the company’s Bing search engine, where Facebook users who are logged in to their account will see their friend’s likes in the search results.
Bing on the other hand became Facebook’s web search provider. Facebook yesterday has launched a new ad unit that is poised to increase the company’s revenue noticeably.
The new Facebook logout ad unit is displayed to users who log out of their account on the social networking site. The Facebook header with the company’s logo and log in options is still showing up on the logout page, but the rest of the page is filled with the new ad unit.
The first company to take advantage of the new ad format? Microsoft with their Bing search engine of course. The ad looks like a cross-breed of Bing’s homepage and a new Facebook timeline profile. The Bing logo, search form and background image are displayed on top, while likes and popularity information are displayed in the ad’s footer.
Users who use the search form to search on the Internet will notice that their results open in a new tab in their browser, and not in the same tab.
According to Techcrunch, there are 37 million users in the U.S. alone that log out of Facebook every day.
Some Facebook users are already seeing the new ad unit when they log out, while other’s do not. It is not clear if the ad unit is only displayed to Facebook users from the U.S., or if it’s visible worldwide. With Bing being mediocre in localized markets, it is likely that the campaign is targeting Facebook users from the U.S. only. There has been no official confirmation though yet.
The ad campaign could help Bing snag away additional search market shares from its main competitor Google. Facebook users who are not interested in the ad can click on the close button to see the usual Facebook logout page instead.