Facebook wants to give Craigslist and eBay a run for their money with a new tab on its app dedicated to peer-to-peer shopping. Called Marketplace, the social media behemoth is catching in on how quickly the number of people who visit its “buy and sell” Groups each month has increased to 450 million.
“To help people make more of these connections, today we’re introducing Marketplace, a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community. Marketplace makes it easy to find new things you’ll love, and find a new home for the things you’re ready to part with. We’ll continue to build new options and features to make this the best experience for people,” Facebook said on Monday.
Facebook Marketplace is a new feature is fashioned much like Craigslist and eBay, but a bit friendlier in terms of finding things to buy online. It lets you browse a feed that is relevant to your needs and from people who live nearby, while also allowing you to quickly list your own stuff for sale. It’s even integrated with the Messenger, which lets you arrange a meet-up with a buyer or seller or negotiate price. This is a brilliant idea considering the fact that you can actually know the person you are dealing with—quite different and safer than the Craigslist’s way of dealing with someone anonymously. The real deal here is the Facebook profile of the individual—you are able to find out a few things before concluding a deal.
Marketplace was launched on Monday in countries like the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on mobile. However, a global rollout could be on the card if the feature becomes popular among Facebook users in the coming weeks or maybe months. While Marketplace could serve as a friendlier way of peer-to-peer buying and selling on Facebook, the social media behemoth needs to work on a few areas to make the feature more appealing to people. For now, [it is not immediately known if Facebook plans to add a native checkout options now or in the future] there is no native checkout option for transactions; you can only do that through Messenger’s ad-hoc payment option.
According to project manager Bowen Pan, Facebook saw an opportunity and decided to catch in on it by introducing Marketplace. The company believes that people now have a more formal place to conduct exchanges.
“We saw a lot of people were really just looking at coming to Marketplace without necessarily anything in particular they were looking for,” Pan says, per The Verge. “They were just on Marketplace to casually browse through. This really mirrors an offline experience where you can go to a Sunday market or maybe the mall. You don’t know exactly what you want but you want to browse.”
Facebook won’t be charging you for using the service [at least not now], which gives it a big edge over Craigslist and eBay. For now, the service is only available to people in those four countries, and only to iPhone and Android users.
Video Credit: https://www.facebook.com/fbmarketplace/videos/930357407068896/