Microsoft saving Face(book)

Is microsoft about to revive the rumours and constant wondering about Facebook buyouts?  After every billionaire tycoon and his dog were linked with buying the social media phenomenon it has all been quiet for a while.  Now apparently it has come out that Microsoft has put the feelers out about a purchase of the social network.  Full article from search engine watch below:

About Face(book): Microsoft Feels Out Social Network Acquisition

Though Bill Gates was out there telling people Microsoft is not interested in making non-Yahoo acquisitions right now (at least in the search/social world), word comes that Microsoft bankers have sent “feelers” to Facebook about a full acquisition.

Here’s why this is a solid move:

1. Microsoft already owns 1.6% stake in Facebook, worth $240 million
2. Microsoft formed a data portability partnership with Facebook and 4 other networks
3. At least two Google execs have jumped ship to Facebook in recent months

While Facebook has yet to “overtake” MySpace in the social media market, it is a viable competitor. And I’m sure Ballmer would love for Microsoft to own a social network that even Apple has used as a marketing ploy as of late. Recent commercials for the iPhone entice potential customers through the ability to access Facebook on the popular mobile device.

Additionally, internet users are turning to their social networks during their search process. Consumers want answers and reviews and social networks help them get opinions from trusted sources.

The Facebook move would likely be seen by many as a better fit than Yahoo. But expect just as many to see it as a negotiating ploy in their bid for Yahoo. Though Microsoft has officially withdrawn its bid for Yahoo, many analysts expect Ballmer and the team to return to the table for another stab at a grab for the search engine.