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eBay launches lukewarm Facebook app

Sell your stuff on eBay, but advertise it on Facebook. Wait, didn't eBay do this last month?

Today eBay launched a standalone Facebook app to let users browse eBay and show off their auctions to friends on the social network. This is hot on the heels of their slick "eBay to Go" Flash widget that made its migration to the Facebook apps platform late last month.

The new app lets you link up your eBay account to your Facebook profile and share items you've put up for auction with your friends, along with making your eBay watch list public to friends who are using the app. The integrated eBay search will pull up identical results to what you'd find when searching through eBay's basic search tool, although it's noticeably missing some of the nicer, advanced power user tools like being able to browse up to 200 listings at a time, and limit results by seller reputation.

Once you've found something that piques your interest, you can add it to your watch list (which cross-posts to your profile's mini-news feed), or share it via Facebook's two-pronged share tool. You can also click the "buy" link which will shoot you off to the item's auction page on eBay.

That's the entirety of the app, but let's take a minute to look at what's missing compared to Facebook's own Marketplace app and buying and selling infrastructure that already exists. The best way to do this is with a chart:

The bottom line is that this new app is a decent way to show off your eBay items, but not nearly as good looking or simple as the eBay to Go widget from a month ago. Sure it's more social than the widget, but it's not nearly as user friendly as the pre-existing marketplace service. If I were eBay, I'd be focusing on ways to create auction listings from within Facebook, along with ways to port over your current Facebook Marketplace listings.