These days, widgets are out of style – at eBay, at least. The online marketplace is retiring some tools that allowed people to display listings on their own websites or blogs. eBay announced the deprecation of four such tools on the eBay Partner Network (ePN) blog, its affiliate membership program.
eBay launched its first widget in 2007, telling EcommerceBytes at the time, “eBay To Go is an internally developed tool meant to allow people to share the fun and quirky listings that comprise the highly entertaining content that is unique to eBay.”
Sellers or collectors could use eBay to Go to easily create and embed cut-and-paste code snippets on blogs, social networking sites and websites. The widget allowed up to 10 items or a favorite search to be featured. While the technology wasn’t cutting edge for its time, it was revolutionary for people to be able to post live eBay listings on off-eBay websites.
In its recent announcement, eBay told affiliates that as part of its goal to enable publishers to drive quality traffic to eBay, it involved the introduction of new products, features, or policies, but it also meant that, “from time to time, we need to deprecate products, features, or policies that are out of date.”
At some point in the next year, eBay wrote, ePN plans to shutdown the following tools within its Publisher portal: Editor Kit, eBay to Go, Tires Widget, and Motors Widget. (The Editor Kit allowed publishers to show live eBay listings based on their specific search criteria.)
“We understand that many of you are still using these tools today and for that reason, we want to make clear that there will be no immediate impact to you. However, sometime in 2014 these tools will go offline and you will be unable to use them,” eBay told affiliates.
eBay recommended that affiliates who used the four tools being retired consider using Custom Banner, a “comparable option as a useful substitute for these legacy tools.” It said the Custom Banner widget provides publishers with the ability to customize targeted units of live listings by keyword, category, seller, and more.
The announcement is available on the eBay Partner Network blog.