As you can see with the embedded Flash widget above, eBay is now letting users embed information about any listing or group of listings directly into a website. Their hope is to encourage bloggers and social network users who discuss famous listings to embed the information right into the page. The service will be available at togo.ebay.com this morning.
There are three types of widgets. Example of all three can be seen on this test blog set up by eBay. The first, embedded above, shows information on a single listing. users can mouse over the seller to get additional information, or do a search with the results returned within the widget itself. Users can also clone the widget for their own site. There is no requirement that the person creating the widget be the seller of the item.
The second type of widget shows up to ten separate items. The pictures rotate in a slide show, and when a viewer clicks on one, it replaces the slideshow with information about that item in the same format as the first widget. The third type of widget shows picture results based on a search query. Like the second widget, clicking on any picture shows information about that listing.
These widgets are just for fun and to generate discussion around interesting auctions, not for revenue generation by publishers. Ebay provides affiliate tools at affiliates.ebay.com and the company says that they will evolve those tools separately over time to meet the requests of affiliates. See our recent post on AuctionAds (one of our current sponsors) for eBay listing widgets that pay out affiliate fees.
Robert Scoble interviewed the team and got a demo: