eBay Engages Facebook While Considering Twitter and YouTube

By Kenna McHugh Comment

Christopher Payne, eBay Marketplaces vice president, said the company’s philosophy will be to try “a whole bunch of things” in the social media. With that said, eBay is thinking about using Twitter and YouTube to take advantage of the increase in social media activities among shoppers while it launches new social features to the eBay marketplace. During his keynote address at the Internet Retailer conference taking place in San Diego last week, he announced a whole new social shopping feature that uses Facebook to engage shoppers.

Payne also said eBay is furthering its overall strategy to engage top consumers and merchants by enabling them to buy and sell any type of product via mobile, social and local commerce whenever and wherever users decide to shop. “The very nature of shopping is changing dramatically,” he said. “We’ve been in business for 15 years. In terms of the Internet, that’s a long time. We’ve learned a lot along the way. People are shopping differently. We see this as a challenge and an opportunity, but mostly an opportunity.”

Users have taken advantage of eBay’s mobile apps more than 45 billion times, said Payne. The company grossed $2 billion in mobile sales in 2010. “In 2011, we will double that,” predicts Payne. “Truly people will be able to shop anytime, anywhere.”

Payne backs up his prediction with reports that eBay saw $62 billion in sales volume in 2010, 60% of which came from the “Buy It Now” format and only 40% from auction, the company’s long standing initiative.

Most of the excitement during Payne’s keynote speech was the mention that eBay will launch a Facebook sharing product built into its homepage, allowing consumers to find products and drag and drop them into the social network.

As a traditional Facebook feature, friends will be able to vote on their favorite product and include comments. Payne said the Facebook interface would arrive “in the coming months.”