This morning, at the Web 2.0 Summit, Max Mancini from eBay was talking about “The Hows and Whys of Distributing Your Content and Services”. He discussed the importance for companies of opening up their content and services to the rest of the web and of avoiding the walled garden mentality. In passing, he mentioned the following platform statistics:
- Facebook: 90,000 developers, and 5,000 applications since May 24, 2007
- Google: “tens of thousands of active gadget developers”
- Salesforce.com: 55,0000+ developers
- eBay: 60,000 developers, 9,000 applications
He also said that in Q2 2007, of all new listings posted on eBay, over 55% of them came from web services tools. And a third of those came from third-party built applications.
What it means: by opening up their platforms to third party developers, these various players have increased their speed of innovation by “outsourcing” some of it to outside players. eBay is often too big to go after niche markets but developers can make a profit because they’re smaller/quicker. In return, the ecosystem gets stronger and customers/consumers benefit from it. Can you also imagine the cost to build all those applications? eBay takes a look at which applications are being used and will acquire smaller tech firms when third-party developed tools become core. So, more innovation, speed to market, cost savings and a stronger ecosystem. Can you ask for more?