Technical evangelist Robert Scoble revealed that eBay's PayPal is launching something big with Facebook in two weeks. At the Smash Summit, he said it will be bigger than anything PayPal and Facebook have done together so far, according to TechCrunch.
eBay's X.commerce Innovate conference is taking place on October 12 and October 13. Here's an official description of the X.Commerce platform:
The X.commerce platform leverages the collective power of eBay Marketplaces, PayPal, GSI Commerce, and Magento* so merchants can thrive in the commerce ecosystem. Technology and services are accessed through a simple cloud-based model; this helps merchants grow, along with the developers, systems integrators, agencies, consultants and service providers who make it happen.
There is quite a bit of potential for PayPal here given how much money is flowing through the Facebook platform. So far, Facebook supports PayPal's micropayments product and allows developers to use PayPal to purchase Facebook Credits.
It's not clear what exactly eBay and Facebook will announce, but it will likely be an attempt to make commerce more social. One possibility is that PayPal will try to offer deeper Facebook integration with its deals.
Facebook and PayPal are already pretty good pals. Earlier this year, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin said Facebook could become the "most valuable company in the world." Few people know this, but in June 2004, Facebook received its first investment from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.
Given PayPal's plans to push the virtual wallet, and Facebook's desire to give Credits a boost, I wonder if the two will one day partner around the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. For those who don't know, NFC allows for simplified transactions, data exchange, and wireless connections between two devices in close proximity to each other. It's has the potential to be huge for mobile payments, once it is supported by enough retailers and smartphones.