eBay Picture Manager is to be discontinued after August 2009 and has already closed for new subscriptions.
For sellers who use the standard eBay templated listings there will be no need to upgrade to picture services. Sellers who prefer to embed pictures into more elaborate listings with full control over the size and placement of images will need to arrange alternative hosting.
Retiring Picture Manager will allow us to focus our resources on a single eBay picture platform, eBay Picture Services (a.k.a. EPS), which will allow us to deliver quality pictures and state-of-the-art picture features for your eBay listings at a competitive price.
In truth both Picture Manager and EPS are clunky services at best with random meaningless URLs and most sellers pretty quickly realised that they could use their own picture hosting for free. eBay have indicated that all pictures on listings will be free in the near future so the need for outside hosting will diminish but still services such as Clic*Pic from ISDN*tek are vastly more configurable than eBay’s own image tools.
I’d like EPS to have sensibly named directory and images structures, full FTP access instead of a somewhat clunky uploader and images that never expire so that they can be reused on listings in the future or for other pages such as About Me or Custom Shop pages.
eBay also say they’ll enable a new “Copy Web Files” option to upload your picture directly from your 3rd party photo-hosting site. (Lets hope not too many users copy from other people’s hosting!)
Part of the change is to enable more complex imaging, e.g. the ability to zoom and rotate images, change colour and 360º views. This is already possible with EPS slide show by using images from varying angles.
Rich imaging along with video is doubtless becoming the norm on many ecommerce sites and as one of the worlds premier shopping destinations eBay should be an early adopter, not one of the last, so it’s good to see images on eBay being given some priority.
Its gone full circle then – from zero to iPix (remember that fiasco) to eBays own, and now back to third party image hosts 🙂
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