eBay Unveils Project Aimed At Developers

    June 16, 2008

eBay may be a slow learner, but it is at least picking up on a few things.  Now that almost all of the popular tech companies have made some sort of nod to developers, the auction site is beginning to encourage the integration of applications into its Selling Manager tool.

Project Echo, as the developer initiative’s known, is currently classified as an alpha pilot; it’s not expected to reach beta stage until early next year.  Quick earnings or PR turnarounds are pretty much out of the question, then, and interest (as represented by the number of posts on the new Project Echo Forum) appears low so far.

Still, Rafe Needleman writes that this "[s]eems like a good extension for the eBay economy.  And eBay needs to keep ahead of the curve in this department–28 percent of all listings are through third-party tools, according to [Senior Director of Mobile Platform and Disruptive Innovation] Mancini.  That adds up to 6 billion API calls a month."

eBay intends to check and approve Project Echo applications for trustworthiness, and once the apps become widely available, something called the Echo Promotion Engine is supposed to introduce relevant ones to certain sellers.

It looks like we may have to wait another six or ten months in order to hear any more details.