Last week, users began seeing prompts to set up Microsoft account log-ins for their Bing Ads accounts. Some users expressed consternation about the changes and log-in errors they were experiencing when trying to postpone the new process. Today, to mitigate customer angst and make the process as seamless as possible, the Bing Ads team posted an updated FAQ and announced a change to the 2-step verification requirements on the Bing Ads community blog.
The first point made clear in the post is that the new sign-on process is not required for existing users before the end of the year. Upon sign-in, users can click the “Remind me later” link to skip the set-up process for linking a Microsoft account to their Bing Ads account.
New users will be required to use an existing or set up a new Microsoft account, just as Google requires a Google account when setting up an AdWords account.
Once you do switch over to using a Microsoft account, you’ll need to use it to access Bing Ads Editor as well. Be sure you have the latest version (v9.10) downloaded.
Important Change To Support 2-Step Authentication For Older Microsoft Accounts
Some users using an older Microsoft account no longer have access to the email and phone number used as security proofs when they set up the account. New security proofs typically take 30 days to go into effect. Acknowledging the problems that delay can cause for Bing Ads customers during the holiday retail season, Microsoft announced it is waiving two-step verification temporarily:
To prevent customers from being locked out of their accounts during this critical holiday period we are temporarily removing the two step verification security measure [until] mid-2014 when the Microsoft account transition is completed. During this time, you are encouraged to add multiple security proofs to your Microsoft account to prevent being locked out of your account in case your phone number or alternate email address changes.
Impact For API Users
Microsoft also published an update about the sign-in process on the Bing Ads API blog today explaining the transition to OAuth for new Bing Ads customers. Existing customers will still be able to sign in via the API with their Bing Ads username and password even after they switch to using a Microsoft account to log in via the web and editor.
The most significant change initiated last week is that new customers who sign up for Bing Ads via the Bing Ads website will only have a Microsoft account and will not be provisioned a Bing Ads user name and website. Managing the accounts of such users via the Bing Ads API will require the use of OAuth for authentication. A less significant change is that existing Bing Ads users will be asked to optionally associate a Microsoft account to their Bing Ads account. Once an existing Bing Ads user associates their account with a Microsoft account, although they will no longer be allowed to use their Bing Ads username and password to sign in to the Bing Ads website and editor, they can still use these credentials to sign in via the API.
Both blog posts contain more details on the process if you are prepared to move forward. If you are a current Bing Ads customer and want to wait on transition account logins, you can do that until after the holiday season.