TNW Quick Hit:
Bing, in its continuing struggle to differentiate itself from Google, has today released the Bing Business Portal, a new tool that replaces the Bing Local Listing Center.
The Business Portal is a collection of tools that allow businesses to claim their profile on Bing, update it with accurate information, and also to generate deals and coupons.
According to the official copy, the core capabilities of the Business Portal are:
- Claim, create, verify, and manage local business listings
- Identify key search categories where you want your listing to appear
- Customize listings with enhanced details such as logos, photos, and more
- Create a mobile Web site (and free QR Code) so customers can learn about your business on their mobile devices
- Create a custom menu (restaurants and bars) for inclusion on a mobile menu
- Create Deals (coupons) and promote them for free on Bing (both PC and Mobile) and Facebook
- Authorize other users to manage your listings
This is what the Business Portal looks like:
But what is most interesting is the deal functionality that Bing has built. Unlike popular sites such as Groupon and others, Bing does not take a cut, or charge the business that wants to create a deal.
Deals can be rebates, coupons, or special prices, and businesses can create as many as they wish. How does Bing profit? By suggesting that businesses engaging in the deal process use Bing to advertise the deal. To promote it, in other words. More ad sales make Microsoft happy, free deals make businesses happy, and users like the accurate information that the new Business Portal will provide.
This is a solid, good move by Bing. It will help grow their market share.