eBay teams up with Facebook for ShopBot

By Dan Wilson October 20, 2016 - 12:35 am

eBay is working with Facebook Messenger on a new way of searching and finding things on the eBay marketplace. It’s called ShopBot.


It utilises AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology and you can ask Messenger to find the things you want to buy. It’s good to see eBay making advances in this area and also experimenting with popular tech trends like Messenger.

Basically, you ask eBay via Messenger what it is you want to buy and they make suggestions. Obviously the success of this new foray will depend on how good the answers are.

You can also make a visual search by posting a picture of what you want to buy and eBay will try and make a match.

eBay’s head of product R.J. Pittman said: “We’re going to where our users are, versus letting it all play out on and our mobile app.”

I haven’t used it yet, have you? The eBay Shopbot is available now in beta and works on iOS and Android versions of Facebook Messenger as well as on the web.

  • james
    8 months ago


    how is this in any way superior to going to ebay, and typing in what you want to search for?
    – cos you dont need to go to ebay?
    – you do still need to go to messenger and start a conversation with shopbot, more effort and hardly condusive to initiating a shopping “journey”.

    and when presented with a choice of two categories? where’s the option for neither?
    why couldnt i select a category myself on ebay.

    even if you find what you want, it’s now a tiny badly formatted image in the middle of a conversation it wasnt supposed to be in.
    is this better than being on ebay? apparently, accoring to ebay, they must realise how bad the site’s gotten.

    on the plus side, you’ll now be able to find ebay items, without being flooded with off-site advertising for things that arent ebay. i suppose thats nice.

    so rather than ensure their site actually works, or is a nice place to be. perhaps sort it out so sellers dont feel like something you’d scrape off your shoe, no, lets invest millions in invading peoples non-ebay conversations with robot spam! hooray for ebay logic!

    • james
      8 months ago

      is there any option for flagging this up in, say, 5 years?
      got a feeling there’s an article on the interet somewhere similar to this one, but from a while back.

      – company X pioneers unwanted emails; in the future your inbox will be full of marvellous offers from people you’ve never heard of, all over the world, just sending you their best deals and craziest offers without you even having to ask or leave the comfort of your home.
      from untested medicines to penis extensions, the greatest merchants off the world will acquire your details from out the ether and flood you with bargains you cant believe.

      Christ, i’m making spam actually sound better than this messenger junk.

      this leads nowhere good, kill it now.

  • 8 months ago

    I’ve tried and not very impressed – although it is beta. Didn’t recognise either of the photos I provided – if that worked it would be very handy!
    Text worked better but it’s on the .com site in dollars so again not much use.
    I suspect it’s part of the “Everything everywhere” concept – not designed to replace eBay but to mop up buyers who are more comfortable using Messenger.
    Shall we expect similar integration for What’sApp, Snapchat, Pinterest etc etc?

  • Gary
    8 months ago

    Amazon have linked up with Facebook for a more ethical cause. Nothing at all to do with pushing product. Anyway remind us of the typical profile of a Facebook user. Do I really want my ebay space invaded by spotty faced underage drunk Facebook users? Some sellers will no doubt benefit. Where is the opt out button?

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