This is interesting: Bing has just announced a significant change to its local business listing management platform.
The name is changing from Bing Business Portal to Bing Places for Business (just like Google’s name for its similar platform), and a lot of what I’d call the expanded functionality from the old Business Portal is being stripped out.
The new Bing Places for Business site is available at bing.com/places and, after you login, you end up at www.bingplaces.com/DashBoard. There’s a nice touch available during login to the new platform: live online chat to get questions answered about the migration.
After logging in, I ended up on a dashboard that looks like this:
I haven’t explored any further, but it looks pretty simple to use. Bing says that it’s dropping a lot of the non-local search functionality from the old Business Portal — stuff that may have been helpful for local businesses, but really went beyond managing a local online listing:
…as part of our drive to simplify the experience we are retiring a few business promotion and management services that were being previously offered. Starting today we will no longer provide the option of creating deals, coupons, QR codes and mobile sites as well as removing the ability to create and print collateral for your business.
Those may not have been heavily-used tools, but the loss of the mobile-friendly site is a shame. It’s not that Bing created some amazing mobile experience for its Business Portal users, but at least it was something — and something that matched the existing local business data.
As far as account and data migration, Bing included this alert during the login process:
All changes made prior to April 22nd on Bing Business Portal are part of the new platform and the remaining changes are expected to be reflected on the Places for Business platform by April 29th, 2013.
That certainly looks and sounds like an easier migration process than what Google is putting local business owners through, doesn’t it?
Will be interesting to see how this plays out. Comments are open if you’ve spent time using the new Bing Places for Business dashboard and want to share some thoughts.