EBay's PayPal Looks to Social Media

Amid competition in the online-payment business, eBay’s (EBAY) PayPal is making a push to attract developers of social-media payment applications, whether or not the product is branded with the PayPal name.

At the annual Goldman Sachs technology conference in San Francisco, eBay CEO John Donahoe expanded on PayPal’s efforts to woo developers, saying that although PayPal may not be creating applications itself, “we want to be the platform on which some of these social-media applications get built.” Mr. Donahoe mentioned Twitpay, a service that allows users to send payments via Twitter, as an example of the kind of product PayPal specifically wants to encourage.

He said he believes developers and social-networking services will need to use a system like PayPal because the complexity of running a real transaction system is too great for many companies to handle.

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