PayPal has long sought to improve its ability to reach external developers, and on Thursday made a new move in that direction by putting an open network called PayPal Commerce into beta testing.

Through its Braintree unit, PayPal will offer its APIs in PayPal Commerce to merchants and partners to develop consumer-facing applications "beyond just their online storefronts," according to a company announcement.  

The PayPal Commerce tools allow merchants to securely sell across email, social shares, blogs, articles, ads, in-page, in-app and anywhere consumers are online or on their mobile devices, the announcement said.

PayPal Commerce follows earlier efforts in expanding commerce, such as using Braintree to power  payments for Pinterest’s Buyable Pins.

In addition, Braintree has helped power commerce for the new transportation platform of Facebook Messenger, PayPal said.

PayPal acquired Braintree two years ago in part to expand its ability to reach digital commerce technology developers. The open development model, long the bastion of startups, is catching on with legacy companies, with Visa recently opening its tools to third parties.

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