Almost exactly a year ago, Microsoft and the much hyped Facebook social networking Web site announced “a strategic alliance” around advertising which had them collaborating to bring relevant advertising to Facebook users and:
As part of the relationship, Microsoft will be the exclusive provider of banner advertising and sponsored links on Facebook using Microsoft’s digital advertising solutions and the Microsoft adCenter platform. The two companies also agreed to work together on future technology and advertising initiatives.
Admittedly it was a rushed marriage, but now according to a Wall Street Journal report, Facebook seems to want to go its own way:
Social-networking Web site Facebook Inc. is quietly working on a new advertising system that would let marketers target users with ads based on the massive amounts of information people reveal on the site about themselves.
Eventually, it hopes to refine the system to allow it to predict what products and services users might be interested in even before they have specifically mentioned an area.
As the industry watches the Palo Alto, Calif., start-up to see if it can translate its popularity into bigger profits, Facebook has made the new ad plan its top priority, say people familiar with the matter. The plan is at an early stage and could change, but the aim is to unveil a basic version of the service late this fall.
The privacy folks are going to love that, but where’s Microsoft?
But Facebook’s new plan faces hurdles. It could upset Microsoft, which is itself trying to build technology to make it easier for advertisers to place targeted ads on Facebook. A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment on this issue.
Looks like the honeymoon is over.