In this February, we reported that Taobao will launch open platform within this year. Today Taobao Open Platform(TOP)’s webpage has been online already, which provides information on Taobao API for developers. (tip by Sina)
To be a developer for TOP, at first you need to sign up as an ISV in Alisoft, the software business under Alibaba Group. TOP will adopt Alisoft to test, release and manage third-party apps for Taobao. Since Taobao is a C2C e-commerce site, not a SNS. TOP mainly focus on applications which will help buyers or sellers to make transaction on Taobao, it is quite different from apps on SNS platform which are mainly entertainment and fun oriented. Taobao also allows developers to sell their apps on the platform to make money.
Before the platform launches, some ISVs offer apps to Taobao’s users already. For example, a shop traffic analytic app, Hao Dianpu, has recorded over 30,000 monthly installation, and generated over RMB300,000 revenues. You need not to share revenue with Taobao/Alisoft now.
According to TOP’s page, Taobao currently encourages apps on sellers marketing platform, visual presentations, items management, inventory management, CRM, analytics tools, mobile applications, overseas market, logistic services, financial and loan services, buyers’ browsing tools, auction and pricing system, and etc.
Let’s see whether TOP will further strengthen Taobao’s market position to compete with Tencent’s Paipai and to-be-launched Baidu’s C2C service.