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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 02, 2007

eBay expands its social circle

eBay has been doing a lot of social networking in recent months, in a bid to involve more teens in its auction site.

by Helen Leggatt

Following in the footsteps of deals with MySpace and Facebook, eBay is now on board with Bebo, reports the Wall Street Journal. Social networking sites have a large teen user base, an age bracket eBay is keen to target. Over 50 percent of Bebo users are under 18, compared to eBay’s 35-44 age range. It is unclear at this point how the companies plan to enforce eBay’s minimum age limit of 18 on social websites where the minimum age is as low as 13.

Bebo users can now list links to items for sale, or items they want, on their profile pages. Once clicked, the links automatically take the user to the relevant eBay page.

Facebook users have a slightly different interface with eBay via “Student Superstore”, an eBay-sponsored store where students can buy used textbooks.

The deals come after a comparatively slow period of growth for eBay. In 2006, their revenue grew by 31 percent to $6 billion, a considerable drop from its figures of a few years back, despite international expansion with launches in countries such as China and Korea.

Tags: 35-44, Bebo, eBay, Facebook, MySpace, social networking, social networks, teens

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