eBay is announcing the opening of its core auction site to third party developers, following the recent trend of social networks and other web properties allowing the creation of external applications for their platforms.
The Project Echo scheme will allow third party applications to work with the eBay Selling Manager, the primary sales dashboard for over 700,000 eBay sellers. Although the move only allows third party access to a fraction of the auction site’s 84m estimated users, eBay says it is the first step in opening its software to outside parties and following the trial period later in the year, may see other areas of the site opened up depending on its success.
The program will see outside applications hosted within eBay’s online properties and will also allow participating developers to access in-house APIs to create new applications. If the trial is successful, the development undertaken with these APIs is expected to allow the creation of similar applications across a range of other eBay properties if the auction site opens up other areas to access.
eBay says all third party applications will be carefully vetted before being integrated into its platforms.