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Facebook launches a Craiglist-like marketplace to leverage its audience

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Facebook has been working upon new ways to leverage its huge audience. Along with other things, Facebook also has these “Buy Or Sell” groups that as the name implies, let people but or sell stuff while staying within the ecosystem. Well, the company is taking things a step forwards and has launched “Marketplace”, a whole new tab in its app, to help you shop.

Considering the amount of human activity that take place on Facebook, it was but natural that buying and selling should come into the picture sooner or later. It started off with groups and has now graduated to the Marketplace.

As per a blog post by Mary Ku, Director of Product Management, Facebook

Facebook is where people connect, and in recent years more people have been using Facebook to connect in another way: buying and selling with each other. This activity started in Facebook Groups and has grown substantially. More than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month — from families in a local neighborhood to collectors around the world.

Marketplace is basically a feed of stuff that has been sorted upon the basis of its relevancy to you. Facebook is describing it as a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community. So the company will also be taking your location, along with the location of the sellers, into account to ensure that the most convenient transaction (convenient by virtue of less of a geographical distance) are given preference.

On firing up Marketplace, you will be confronted with a list of stuff that are available to buy near you. You van then chose to customize your search based upon a variety of options that include by location, category or price. If you see something that you dig, simple tap upon it to access further details and send its owner a direct message to haggle things out.

From here on, things are basically like Craiglist or Yellowpages. Since the company does not facilitate any transactions or guarantee delivery, you are left to sort these details out with the buyer and reach common ground. Selling is as easy as taking a picture and adding a product description and price. The company is going with a constrained roll-out at the moment, however we can expect it to expand the feature globally, very soon.

Over the next few days, Marketplace will be rolling out to everyone over 18 years old in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on the Facebook app for iPhone and Android. We will continue expanding to additional countries and make Marketplace available on the desktop version of Facebook in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the feature is likely to hit off well. While some issues are almost certain to arise due to the lack of any regulatory structure, people will be left with their common senses to avoid scams and other unpleasant experience. However, considering the huge audience that Facebook leverages, plus the fact that you are aware of the social profile of the seller (unless of course, the account is fake) is likely to work out in its favor.


A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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