A series of three events has everyone in the Press and Wall St. very curious about what’s going on between FB and EBay/Paypal.
First, Robert Scoble is a technology blogger who became famous at Microsoft and is now at Rackspace (more on Scoble here and this is his main site). On September 23rd last week, Scoble was at an unrelated event in the Bay area and let slip that he knows of a big Facebook/eBay collaboration coming soon (presumably at the X.commerce event next week). You can read the details at TechCrunch. The exact quote as reported was:
Paypal and Facebook are working on something big to be revealed in two weeks.
Then there was news on Sept 29 that Facebook mobile executive Katie Mitic is joining the eBay Board of Directors.
Finally, today (October 3, 2011) , Scoble has a lengthy interview with JD out embedded here:
In it JD talks about:
“Our teams are working closely together to innovate and and experiment. how do you bring your social graph into eBay? How do you bring eBay listings into your Facebook?”
So it’s a little confusing, because you have:
- Scoble initially making it sound like a Paypal thing
- FB’s mobile exec joins board which makes it seem like a mobile thing
- JD makes it seem like a standard eBay marketplace thing.
I thought it would be fun to speculate a little bit on this, so several of us at ChannelAdvisor put together this top ten list.
Top 10 things that FB/eBay could be announce next week
- (payments) – Paypal will let you login with FB connect (yawn)
- (payments) – FB is dumping credits and moving 100% to Paypal (unlikely, but BIG)
- (payments) – Paypal will let you convert your FB credits to Paypal real dollars
- (mobile) – FB app will include eBay functionality or Milo or RedLaser or Where geotargeting
- (mobile) eBay app will tie in with FB mobile app in some way
- (marketplace) – eBay will support FB connect and pull in your graph like other retailers have been doing for years (yawn)
- (marketplace) eBay will relaunch it’s really terrible FB app (yawn)
- (marketplace) FB will dump partner Oodle’s ‘marketplace‘ app in favor of eBay. (possible, but yawn)
- (payments) – Your eBay/PP activity will be added to the new FB ticker – “Scot just spent $500 on some star wars item and his new balance is $-30!” (unlikely but would be funny)
- (most likely) Some type of Barney partnership around cross promotion of the FB developer community and X.commerce.
- (bonus) – eBay attempts to breath life into the dying auction format by making them suddenly social.
What do you think is up between the two companies?
It was hard to pare the list down to 10 because there’s a ton of areas you could see them poking around together. For example, eBay’s really big on group gifting, so maybe that is the anchor point.
That’s what we came up with – what do you think? Put your vote out in comments on one of our options, or we’d love to hear yours. Of course we’ll be reporting on the event as it happens, so stay tuned.
SeekingAlpha Disclosure – I am long Google and Amazon. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor where I am CEO.