Monday, July 9, 2007

Prosper's July Feature Additions

Over on the Prosper forums, the Announcement category had the new features added in July. The lender relevant changes are listed below, but, for the most part, I'm underwhelmed:

Updated marketplace performance page
We've improved the marketplace performance page by bringing the "Estimated ROI" table to the top of the page, and by setting some default loan criteria (0 current delinquencies and 0-2 recent inquiries) so that you can just click "View matching listings" or "Convert into standing order" and earn a 9-11% interest rate on listings with those criteria. We've also added some "Sample criteria" like "Zero delinquencies" and "Homeowners only" that you can just click on to see how applying those criteria to past loan portfolios would affect your ROI.

Group joining process streamlined
If you've ever tried to click the "Join this group" link from a group page as an unregistered user, and actually joined the group, you know that the process of joining Prosper and then finding the group again to join it is not obvious. Now, when an unregistered user clicks "Join this group", he or she is sent to a combination page where he or she can both join Prosper and make a request to join the group. Just click "Join this group" when you're not signed in to check it out.

Group leaders now have a landing page for joining Prosper and their group
Using the same process described above, GLs can now link outside web sites or their email signatures to a landing page where prospective group members can both join Prosper and request membership in their group all on the same page. If you're a GL, just go to the "Link to group" link at the bottom of your group page where the link to your landing page can be found.

Added running account balance column to account activity page
One small piece of feedback that seemed obvious to fix is that there wasn't a simple "Cash balance" column in the account transaction activity page, that would let you track how individual deposits and withdrawals were affecting your cash balance as they were processed. Note that the column is available in the default view (sorted by date), but will disappear if
you sort by any other column.

Improvements to the API
We have gotten a lot of great feedback from developers over the last few months, and we have improved the real-time API in a couple of significant ways. First, the five primary objects are now available through the API: bids, listings, loans, members, and groups. Second, all of those objects can be queried via the API. These changes, along with a few added fields (for convenience and performance), significantly enhance the usefulness and usability of the API for developers. We expect that this will yield many great new applications for borrowers, lenders, and group leaders.

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