EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2627 - September 09, 2011     2 of 6

eBay Wants to Make Marketplace More Social

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eBay acquired the Gifts Project, an Israeli software developer that powers the eBay Group Gifts feature. The company will now focus on building social shopping platforms and product features for eBay Marketplaces.

The Gifts Project is a social gifting platform that makes gift giving more easy and helps consumers to interact with their friends while shopping. It allows friends to share their special occasions with their social graph by actively participating in a Group Gift on their favorite retailer's website.

eBay launched its portal in November, which allows several people to pitch in, buy and pay for gifts using their social network and email contacts. Participants choose Buy It Now items on eBay and send funds for the gift to the organizer's PayPal account.

In addition to going social, eBay also took the concept of gift-shopping to the local space. Last December it launched GiftsNearby specifically for the final days leading up to Christmas and into the New Year, driving shoppers to a search portal where they could find products at local brick-and-mortar retailers.

According to the Gifts Project, which is based in Tel Aviv, eBay will transition the Gifts Project into eBay's Israel Social Center. The company explained why it sold to eBay. "Joining eBay gives us the opportunity to expose our platforms to even more people and focus on cracking the social commerce secret sauce once and for all. The way we see it, most of e-commerce will soon become Social Commerce, and we will strive to reach our full potential of combined efforts to produce outstanding social experiences for larger audiences and create things that will blow your mind."

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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