The Labs division of PayPal was formed to develop a variety of applications with the goal of generating buzz around the use of the popular payment processor, particularly on social media platforms such as MySpace and Facebook. BRINK was brought in as a strategic development partner.

Social apps, ahead of the game

As social media platforms became increasingly ubiquitous, the next step in their evolution was the introduction of apps. Facebook and MySpace created an API in limited beta release and we were invited to develop some of the initial apps that the platforms would launch with. We used the opportunity to develop two apps on behalf of PayPal: the giving badge and the portable storefront.

Giving Social

The giving badge allowed users to create a fundraising goal and generate a badge that sits on their profile, encouraging their friends to donate to the cause. The badge showed progress towards the goal, allowed friends to post the same badge on their own walls and featured a “giving tree” that detailed a hierarchy of people that had given to the cause. This badge was most notably used by major charities such as the Red Cross and then presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

PayPal's Giving Badge Facebook app

Ecommerce for Everyone

The portable storefront widget
“… when I first heard about [the widget] my thoughts were: here we go, yet another widget offering, but this is impressive and quite unique in the marketplace.”

The portable storefront was a robust e-commerce widget that lived on a user’s social media profile, blog or personal site. Users were able to add a large quantity of products with different prices and custom variables. They could return to their admin at any point and update their store and it would automatically update the widget on whatever platforms it stood. Entrepreneur magazine called it one of the best e-commerce tools for bloggers.

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