Monday, September 13, 2010

Why Facebook should work on a social graph based e-bay engine

I believe that Facebook should work on Ebay 2.0, the social graph evolution of the traditional auction market.

On Ebay, a user can rank another user according to the quality of the transaction they concluded. Usually, each user take a look to the seller's ranking for assessing the potential risk of a bet. Even if each user is identified with a login and a password, the seller and the bidder do not know each others.

Facebook and the social graph will add an additional level of trust since both the seller and the bidder can identify a path of users that connect both of them and can provide references. Linkedin adopted a similar mechanism for introducing each others unknown persons. Facebook can use it for creating a new Ebay. In alternative, they can buy a competitor and integrate it in the social graph.


  1. Microsoft tried something like this back in 2005

    but the implementation, in typical Microsoft fashion, was lacking in ease of use. You're right that Facebook might be able to do a better job there.

  2. Problem is, a lot of people in facebook are there to interact with the people that we know. That's why we use our real identity in it, which is validated by our connections in the graph.

    Sometimes you don't want to mix business with life. If you wanted to implement an auction system like eBay on that graph that'd mean that you'd have to be transparent, or have yet another layer of what you share and what you don't (Friends, Others, Buyers) Only then I think it'd make sense. My concern is crazy angry customers coming to your house and harming you. When I go to a store and buy something from it, I don't need to know anything about the personal life of the owner, or the employees of that store, you deal with a company and you go there for it's reputation, the same thing with eBay, you deal with sellers and their reputation. This system seems to work pretty well, I don't care what they do with their personal lives as long as their responsible in shipping and giving what they promise.

    The more I think about it, it doesn't make sense. It would turn facebook in a place where your friends are selling you things all the time, extremely annoying.

  3. My view: when you buy a new camera and you are not an expert you probably will go and ask the help of your friend who has the hobby of pictures and cameras. This happens almost in all the situations.

    I agree that this types of updates should be separted from the rests. Exactly like happens with the game updates right now.