eBay bidders will soon be able to receive reminders via Facebook Messenger when an auction listing is about to end. The feature is part of the first phase of pilot testing, so will only be available to a subset of eBay users as it rolls out over the coming weeks.
Facebook Messenger works like texting (SMS) and other mobile messaging apps to let users reach people instantly on their phones, and Facebook is betting big on the app.
David Marcus, previously President of PayPal, heads up Messenger, and he announced this week at the F8 Developers conference that the company is giving greater access to the platform to third-parties like eBay.
eBay buyers can also opt-in to receive out-bid messages via Facebook Messenger. “When opted-in, eBay buyers will receive a Messenger reminder 15 minutes before a listing ends, as well as a Messenger notification if they are outbid in the final 15 minutes of an auction,” eBay explained.
The move has the potential to be a big win for sellers if it draws buyers back to their listings. Lucius DiPhillips, Vice President of Product & Engineering at eBay, said, “We know that eBay customers are very active in various messaging apps. This integration with Messenger is about understanding where our customers are, improving the buyer experience and finding new ways to engage with them throughout their purchase journey.”
Users who are part of the Pilot test who Watch or Bid on an item will receive an email four to six hours prior to the item ending with an option to sign up for Messenger or Text alerts for the item. They can then click on the Messenger button in the email and provide their Facebook account information. A Messenger notification will then alert buyers 15 minutes before the item ends and if they are outbid in the last 15 minutes.
“If an outbid notification is received, buyers can simply click from the Messenger notification and place a new bid.”
eBay said its tickets marketplace StubHub is also integrating with Facebook Messenger. “After signing up to connect on Messenger, StubHub customers will have the ability to receive ticket confirmations, event maps, event updates, and parking passes within Messenger. Customers can also opt-in to receive alerts for games and events in which they are interested.”
You can read eBay’s full announcement about its integration with Facebook on the eBay corporate blog.