Microsoft pays to put Bing on Facebook logout page

Microsoft is paying Facebook to be the first customer of the social networking giant's new logout page ad unit. The result is an interactive Bing search page when you logout of Facebook.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Microsoft is Facebook's first customer for the company's new logout ads. When you logout of Facebook, you could soon be greeted with an interactive Bing ad: you'll see Bing's trademark wallpaper photo as well as an active search box, which opens a Bing search results page in a separate tab when you search for something. TechCrunch reader Raj Singh already has it on his Facebook logout page.

Earlier this week, Facebook introduced new advertising options for its customers. The first is Offers, a way to share special discounts and promotions. The second consists of two new placements for premium advertising and Sponsored Stories: both can now appear on the Facebook logout Page and the mobile News Feed. While mobile news feed ads are already available, logout page ads are supposed to go live in April. Clearly some people are already seeing the latter.

It makes sense for Microsoft to be Facebook's first customer of the new logout page ad unit. After all, the two are long-time partners. In October 2007, Microsoft bought a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook for about $240 million, giving Facebook a valuation of $15 billion. Ever since then, the two companies have been best friends and have worked together on many different products, although now it's just mainly Bing (see links below). Microsoft even provided display ads for Facebook at one point, but that deal has since expired and Facebook now competes with Microsoft in the online advertising market.

When the logout ads were announced on Wednesday, here's what I wrote:

Logout ads seem bizarre to me because I'm always logged into the social network. Still, Facebook says 37 million U.S. users logout of the service each day and 105 million do so per month (out of 161 million monthly active U.S. Facebook users as of December 2011). Plus, and there's no other engaging content on the logout page to distract them from the ads.

Microsoft clearly agrees with Facebook more than I do. I have contacted Facebook for more information and will update you if I hear back.

Update at 4:30 PM PST: "We don't discuss the terms of ad agreements," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

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