Google Places has been around for quite some time now and has seen its fair share of advancements over the years from just simple business listings to integration right into search results. This widely used product is no doubt a great product, which is why Bing is aiming to compete with it. The new service offered by Bing, dubbed Bing Business Portal (BBP) is going to replace existing data from the Bing Local Listing Center. Regardless of what the name is called, it’s a pretty close replica to Google Places.
To claim your business listing you must enter your business address, which then must be verified by either by phone or by a PIN which is sent via snail mail. Once you verify your business you can include information like hours, photos, links, payment types, and more. If you’re a restaurant or bar you can also add an existing PDF you might have or by entering one right through the BBP. Additionally you can add up to six categories to help describe the type of business you may have as well as adding coupons, deals and promotions to your business listing.
All of these features sound like a near exact copy of Google Places. From what I understand Bing almost did an exact copy and paste from Google Places, not even adding their own innovation like they usually do when using Google as an “idea” source. What do you think?