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Bing Ads’ New Look Reflects New Energy From Microsoft’s Search Ads Platform
In a major overhaul, Microsoft’s paid search advertising platform, Bing Ads, began rolling out a new web user interface today. The refresh is designed to help marketers analyze and act on their campaigns more efficiently. And not by coincidence, it looks much like Google’s AdWords platform.
The refresh is the latest in a string of recent updates that signal a newfound energy at Bing Ads. While the team is anything but naive about its distant second-place position behind AdWords, new engineering processes and features are aimed at making the Bing Ads platform easier to adopt for current AdWords users and getting those advertisers already dabbling with Bing Ads more engaged.
Engineers I’ve spoke with in the past months have expressed enthusiasm about the spate of changes being made and an optimism about the speed at which progress is finally being made.
In an interview last month, David Pann, General Manager for the Search Network, said of the business prospects and features rolling out in the coming months, “I’m more excited about FY15 than I’ve ever been”. Pann reported for fiscal year 2014, which ended in June, overall clicks rose 30 percent and mobile clicks shot up by 133 percent from the previous year. Bing Ads also saw wider advertiser adoption in the 35 global markets where it is now available.
Jamie Chung a Program Manager with the Bing Ads UI team said the development process for the refresh reflects a new approach for the engineering team. Rather than starting with a product and then getting customer feedback, Chung says the team reached out to customers first and asked what they wanted to see in a redesign.
“We were making changes through last week as a result of customer feedback,” Chung told me by phone.
The results at first blush are at once familiar (owing to the similarity to AdWords) and fresh. Bing Ads used to be plagued by new releases that felt dated upon arrival. This UI update feels on point.
Among other changes in the coming months, a live chat feature will be available to allow users to get support help and provide feedback and suggestions directly to engineers.