eBay Frees API; What Took So Long?
from the big-deal dept
eBay is getting a bit of coverage this morning for the news that they're freeing up their API in an effort to encourage developers. They're also offering a reward for the most innovative application that people come up with. While they're trying to pitch this as a big move, all it seems like is a really, really late move by eBay. Any software or online business these days has to realize that the really big wins are in being the platform that everyone's hooked into. Putting up a huge hurdle and making it expensive for developers to make your platform more valuable to end-users seems like a really short-sighted grab for a little extra money upfront in exchange for long term value. eBay got away with this by being the only really large scale auction platform that many people used, but it left them vulnerable. With new efforts under way like Google Base, it's no wonder they're finally recognizing the need to change. So, it's good that they're opening up the APIs and encouraging development, but it's a bit surprising it took them this long.