|Thu Apr 4 2013 21:17:03|
Are You Ready for eBay's Social Debut?
By: Ina Steiner
eBay is going to launch new social features on its marketplace, allowing users to "follow" people, themes and collections and curate collections and share them. Executives laid out details to analysts and investors, but the only inkling to sellers came tacked on to the end of eBay UK's announcement to sellers this week.
The social features eBay described are already standard across the Web at this point - for example, Etsy already gives users the ability to like (heart) items and to add people to their circles (follow them).
It will be interesting to see if eBay's new social features are more successful than its blogs, neighborhoods and groups, which have already gone by the wayside, and "MyWorld" pages, which tried to emulate MySpace when they launched.
Etsy has said its shops receive nearly as much traffic from social sharing sites as they do from search engines like Google - that's impressive, and if eBay can boost its traffic from social, that would be a help to sellers.
eBay UK's announcement about the "next generation user profiles" says users will be able to link to social networking sites:
"As a seller, you can now hook into the power of social media right from your eBay profile. Link to your Facebook fan or profile page, and embed YouTube videos. Plus, buyers see a larger profile image and larger images of items you're selling."
eBay has always been afraid of buyers and sellers using social networking sites to take the transaction off eBay, so that will be interesting to see.
You can read more about eBay's social features in Friday's Newsflash newsletter. If and when you spot these new features live on the site, let us know!