eBay opens up


eBay announces Project Echo, will allow third-party developers to integrate applications directly onto the trading platform.

"Max Mancini, senior director of platform and disruptive innovation at eBay, said the company's move gives developers unprecedented access to eBay's community of professional sellers, creating more opportunities for developers to market their tools and giving sellers a wider variety of sales options."

We reported on eBay's move in this direction in 2006:

"eBay started its developer program in 2000, but stepped on the gas in the last couple of years. In late 2005, it dropped fees for access to its APIs, a move that saved large developers thousands of dollars a month; the developer network doubled in size between mid-2005 and mid-2006, while the number of sellers using third-party listing applications grew by 50 percent in the same period...Quite a change for eBay, which threatened to sue third-party developers as late as 1999."

The company hinted at the time that today's announcement was a possibility: The flexible platform supporting some 212 million registered users is the key to eBay's future, says Carey. "As we continue to build out the core platform, the question is how we expose more pieces to our developer network," he says. "We want to continue the cycle of innovation and allow innovation to come from outside the company."


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