Facebook To Share User Data With Russia’s Yandex

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

The social network looks to get some traction in Russia

Russian search giant Yandex has agreed a deal with Facebook to access data publicly posted on the social networking site.

As a result of the deal, Yandex will be able to index public content from Facebook users who live in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and  other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Turkish users are also affected.

russian dolls yandex social media © stormcab shutterstock “Facebook has granted us full access to its ‘firehose’ of public data. This means that now, not only can Yandex search for people and company pages on Facebook, it can also search for content marked ‘Public’,” Yandex said in a blog post.

Yandex respecting privacy?

“Of course, anything users mark as ‘Private’ will remain off-limits,” the Yandex post continued.

“At present, Facebook posts from users in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan pop up in search results only on the Blogs part of Yandex Search, but soon they will be added to the service’s main Search page, giving users even fresher answers to their questions about recent and current events.

“Along with answers to such queries, Yandex will add up-to-date articles and videos, among other things that have had great resonance among Facebook users.”

Yandex said it would be indexing Facebook information based partly on how popular the posts are. It already has a similar deal with Twitter and Russian blogging firm LiveJournal.

Facebook is keen to gain better market share in Russia, where other social networks, such as vKontakte, are considerably more popular. Making its users’ content more visible on the biggest native search engine may help in that goal.

Yandex, meanwhile, has been expanding into numerous areas. In early 2013, it launched its own app store for Android applications.

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