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eBay Opens More PayPal Tools To Developer Partners

EBay unveiled new tools, including a beta version of an advertising system that will let affiliates embed eBay auction links in their Web sites, as well as APIs for search, shopping cart, and product information.
At its fifth annual eBay Developers Conference, held this weekend in Las Vegas, eBay showed off a new PayPal developer community Web site, four new eBay APIs, and a beta version of an advertising system that will let affiliates embed eBay auction links in their Web sites.

The conference drew together partners developing for eBay's expanding network of ventures, which now includes PayPal, Skype, Shopping.com and e-commerce software service ProStores, alongside eBay's traditional online auction business. Like Amazon.com, eBay opens up significant portions of its infrastructure to outside developers, relying on partners to drive additional sales through eBay's platform.

Following the lead of Google's AdSense advertising network, eBay is readying its own contextual ad system, eBay AdContext. The system will scan Web content for keywords and match them against relevant eBay listings and categories. Synergistic eBay content will be displayed in ads alongside partners' content, a strategy eBay hopes will increase clickthrough rates. Participants in eBay's Affiliates Program can request access to the beta by e-mailing [email protected]

EBay also introduced four new APIs under development: an express-search interface, an express shopping cart, a product information API that will also cover eBay's reviews and guides, and a contextual-keywords interface.

EBay's ProStores launched its first developer network and accompanying Web site, while PayPal took the wraps off the PayPal Developer Network community Web site, which includes forums and blogs intended to spark developer conversations.

EBay estimates that around one-quarter of its auction listings are submitted through third-party Web service tools. Some 30,000 members are registered in eBay's Developers Program and have created more than 2,000 add-on applications for eBay's platform.

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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing