eBay made a handful of developer-focused announcements today, as the ecommerce giant looks to open up third-party access to its own back-end technology.
Over the past year, eBay has added a bunch of new computer vision features to its shopping platform. Last October, for example, it rolled out new reverse image search tools to help users find items using existing photos, while a few weeks back it expanded this feature to include drag-and-drop image search functionality. Building on this, eBay is now opening up access to its image Search application programming interface (API), so developers will be able to add computer vision-powered eBay search features into their own platforms. Price-comparison platform Wikibuy is already using the API to build a new “eBay visual search” functionality into its mobile app.
To access the API, a developer must be a registered member of the eBay Developer Program, and from there they can access the APIs for no cost.
Additionally, eBay is opening access to a new Machine Translation API. At the start, this will only be available for English-to-Mandarin translations and is aimed at helping businesses market their sites for China by ensuring item titles and descriptions are properly localized for Chinese consumers. The API also works in reverse — from Mandarin to English — for search queries, and plans are afoot to expand this translation API to cover more markets in the future.
“This is the first capability in our new Machine Translation API, and we plan to expand to other languages and contexts in the future,” the company said in a statement earlier today.
Back in 2016, eBay unveiled a bunch of new “Sell” APIs to help sellers manage their eBay business in third-party tools, while new “Buy” APIs enabled developers to open up to eBay’s inventory without having to visit eBay itself.
Today, eBay revealed that some authorized developers will now be able to “curate, mirror, and surface eBay inventory at scale” through a marketplace API feed that enables them to store and synchronize “millions” of eBay items on their own sites while staying up to date with changes made on eBay itself.
Related to this, eBay said that its Buy APIs are now expanding to two additional markets — the U.K. and Germany — with more countries coming soon.