RealTime IT News

eBay Hops Aboard The RSS Train

Online auction giant eBay is the latest e-commerce player to embrace the RSS content syndication format to stay in touch with customers.

On the heels of similar support for RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) from Amazon.com and Yahoo , eBay has now rolled out two RSS feeds. They are designed to shuttle general announcements and system status messages to users with news aggregators.

Senior manager of developer relations at eBay, Jeffrey McManus, announced the RSS rollout on his weblog and said the feeds would be used to push special offers, promotions and system status messages via RSS. "[There are] highly recommended if you use a Weblog reader and are the least bit serious about using eBay," McManus said.

The RSS feeds, which appear to be targeting the hardcore eBay buyer and shopper, are available here: General Announcements and System Announcements.

While the adoption of the XML-based technology by eBay will help push consumer adoption of RSS, industry watchers say the company should allow users to create customized RSS feeds. The third-party Free Bidding Tools Web site offers a service that allows users to generate RSS feed from an eBay search but similar functionality is not yet available from eBay.

For the most part, RSS usage has been limited to techies and early adopters but, with major news sites and e-commerce players embracing the technology, many expect the average online user to be using feed aggregators as much as e-mail clients.