Microsoft Facebook Call: Live Updates

The cast:
Owen Van Natta, chief revenue officer, Facebok
Kevin Johnson, head of platforms/services, MSFT

Owen: Speaking from a bunker, apparently. Should use new funds for better phone.

Kevin: “Win-win-win.”

Ballmer dissed Facebook a few weeks ago. Now you say it’s worth $15B. What’s up with that? Kevin: Speaks assuredly, doesn’t really say much — advertising’s growing, social networks are growing, Facebook is growing. So it’s worth a lot. Translation: Steve was just kidding!

Does deal go beyond ad platform? We’re not saying. Except…”there’s a lot more we’re going to be doing together.”

Owen, what happened with Google? A long, non-answer. Will this deal create any restrictions on third-party app-makers? No. But they’ll have “new opportunities” to tap into MSFT technology, ad platform.

Announcing any other investors in this round? Nope – but we’re not confirming or denying existence of said other investors. UPDATE: Forbes reports that Facebook did indeed raise another $500 million, from two NYC-based hedge funds.

Reciprocity? Will Facebook be integrated into MSFT web properties? Maybe.

Who wanted in but didn’t get in — i.e., who else lost here besides Google? Nope – not going there.

Followed by more non-answers. Here’s a real one: Does the deal include search? No, it doesn’t include search.

Repeat, over and over: “There’s certain aspects of the agreement that both parties have agreed not to disclose.”

How have previous FB ads performed to date? Improving. And we’ll make it better. How about click-through rates? Details? Numbers? Kevin appreciates the question. But not answering.

What is FB going to do with the money? Fund innovation and growth, of course. Expanding employee base dramatically. Going to 700 employees. Better tech infrastructure to handle boom in users, usage.

A request for “colour” on negotiations (i.e., need material to dress up a story w/little in the way of numbers, detail, etc): Owen doesn’t offer much. Kevin says he’s in the Valley “a lot”. And he’s spent a lot of time with Owen in last few days. How’s that for colour?

How does MSFT deal affect Facebook’s own sales plans? Does it preclude FB from selling on its own? Owen: Advertisers have a “huge amount of different needs”. FB has a sales force, work in conjunction with MSFT. That will continue.

Does MSFT have access to FB’s profile data? Owen: Privacy is very important. But… “certain details of the partnership that we’re not disclosing today.” Kevin: Part of the three-way-win referenced above involves targeted ads, so… read between the lines.
And, mercifully, we’re done.

Follow-up: Facebook Raises Another $500 Million

Related: It’s Official: Microsoft Wins Facebook’s Bakeoff
Facebook Going To…Microsoft?
Sorry, Microsoft, Google Has Already Won The Facebook War

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