PALO ALTO, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 22, 2006 — Facebook and Microsoft Corp. today announced a strategic alliance in which the two companies will collaborate to bring relevant advertising to the more than nine million registered users of Facebook, the Internet’s leading social utility. Microsoft’s advanced advertising technology and Facebook’s unique social network make possible the multi-year collaboration grounded in the two companies’ commitment to technological innovation. 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. “Our collaboration with Facebook is about joining our cutting-edge advertising technology and sales force with a true innovator in social networking,” said Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of the Online Services Group at Microsoft. “We believe that the combination of Microsoft and Facebook strengths will be incredibly attractive to advertisers as they forge more meaningful connections with one of the largest, most engaged audiences on the Internet. The consumer assets brought to bear by this relationship will be very hard to match.” Advanced technology from Microsoft and Facebook will help connect advertisers with Facebook users in more relevant, innovative ways through a combination of graphical ad placements, as well as automated text-based advertisements targeted to content and, over time, aggregate user behavior on an anonymous basis. “We’re excited to be innovating with Microsoft to build a world-class advertising solution that allows Facebook to deliver the best advertising experience in social media,” said Owen Van Natta, chief operating officer at Facebook. “We chose Microsoft because it, like Facebook, is a technology company at its core and is committed to taking a fresh approach to targeting advertising to social media. We’re committed to providing a great user and advertiser experience together.”
The two companies began talks about the relationship only last week and expect the new advertising experiences to appear in the early fall. Microsoft and Facebook have expressed an interest in moving quickly to implement the terms of the deal. About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.