Home / Technology / Facebook launches Marketplace, a friendlier Craigslist

Facebook launches Marketplace, a friendlier Craigslist

450 million people already revisit “buy and sell” Groups on Facebook any month, and now a association is rising a whole add-on in a app dedicated to peer-to-peer shopping.

Facebook Marketplace lets we crop a relevancy-sorted feed of things to buy from people who live nearby, and fast list your possess things for sale. Integration with Facebook Messenger lets we exchange or arrange a meet-up, and we know some-more about who you’re traffic with than on unknown sites like Craigslist interjection to Facebook’s profiles.

Marketplace is rising currently in a US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on mobile, though could hurl out globally and on a web if it’s popular. There’s an hapless miss of a two-way rating complement that helps daunt scamming and bad behavior. There’s also no internal checkout choice for exchange over ad-hoc remuneration by Messenger, that is irritating though promotes in-person exchanges instead of fraud-laden shipping.

“I consider a superiority of Craigslist shows there’s a good need for a internal commerce product” pronounced Marketplace product manager Bowen Pan.

While there’s no Pages authorised on Marketplace right now, Facebook could one day beget ad income if it let businesses or people buy News Feed ads or sponsored chain for what they’re selling. Pan tells TechCrunch, “After we’re assured we’ve built out a good product knowledge for people, we’ll demeanour into introducing businesses if it creates sense, and after that we’ll demeanour during how we could potentially monetize a surface.”

Facebook is betting large on Marketplace, deliberation a holding over a categorical mark in a navigation add-on bar, replacing a Messenger by-pass in Facebook for iOS. That primary plcae could make Marketplace a digital chronicle of incentive buys during a checkout counter.


Social Selling

Facebook continues its unending query to eat a internet, formulating a possess versions of any renouned activity on a web to catch their rendezvous and distinction potential. The some-more of a commerce knowledge it owns, a some-more it can acquire indirectly by ads. It’s also operative on a Shopping add-on for selling from normal retailers.

Facebook has been perplexing to win internal commerce for roughly a decade. In 2007 it initial attempted out a “Marketplace” for personal listings about things for sale, housing, jobs, and more. But Marketplace never gained large traction and in 2009 Facebook eliminated control to Oodle, a commerce height powering it. It was close down in 2014.

Then final year, Facebook took another swing, building a special “For Sale” post choice to Groups, that roughly a entertain of a 1.71 billion users now revisit any month. In Oct 2015 Facebook began contrast a “Local Market” underline that would develop into a Marketplace rising today.

composer_usFacebook Marketplace has 3 categorical features:

  1. Browse To Buy – Marketplace opens to a filtered feed of equipment we can buy from your community. Thanks to tags people supplement to their listings and Facebook’s content research AI total with what Pages we Like and things we crop on Marketplace, a listings we see are ranked formed on relevancy. Pre-made Messages like “Is this object still available?” and What condition is this object in?” make traffic simpler.
  2. Sell Your Stuff – Rather than carrying to set adult a new profile, we can simply snap a print of your item, supplement a description, set an seeking price, and tell your listing.
  3. Search Your Surroundings – Along with browsing specific categories like Household or Electronics, we can also hunt for something specific and filter what we see by location, category, and cost or by a map. If we find something we want, you’ll see a seller’s estimate location, not their accurate residence unless they tell you.

“We show we a many applicable equipment for you, even if we don’t know what we want” pronounced Pan

Craigslist thrived in a US by being a lowest common commerce denominator. It was dead-simple, flexible, and launched prolonged before many rivals. It has implausible inertia, with buyers and sellers both gravitating behind to it since it aggregates a many supply and demand, notwithstanding a miss of features.

But recently, we’ve seen specialty sites attain in unbundling certain Craigslist features. For example, reviews, calendars, and built-in remuneration helped Airbnb take a short-term rentals marketplace from Craigslist. Seating charts and filtering options let StubHub take sheet resales.

unbundling-haberNo one has been means to combat a home for peer-to-peer offered divided from Craigslist, though Facebook competence have a best possibility for these 3 reasons.


marketplace_-message-the-seller-viewOn Craigslist we don’t know anything about a customer or seller you’re assembly over what they contend in their inventory and your approach communication. But Facebook profiles tell we tons.

It’s tough for scammers with feign accounts to build adult large numbers of friends, so if someone has copiousness along with a filled-out profile, we can be flattering certain of who they are. That info or miss thereof could idea we in to either we wish to accommodate them in-person, that can be risky. Plus there’s some-more burden and people act improved if they consider we could give their name to a police, lane them down during work, or contrition them on amicable media.

The many sorely lacking underline in Marketplace is a approach for buyers and sellers to rate any other and note things like that a object was in worse condition than listed, a seller attempted to jack adult a cost last-minute, or that a customer showed adult late or flaked out.


People customarily usually go to Craigslist when they wish something specific. Yet we already spend around 50 mins per day on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. Marketplace will be one daub divided inside Facebook, rather than stealing buried in a More add-on like many features.

By building a Marketplace into where we already spend a time, it’s like environment adult a farmer’s marketplace in a core of town. Users competence slick by Marketplace simply since they’re bored. Thanks to a recognition of Messenger, buyers and sellers can simply discuss though phone numbers. A competing commerce height still competence have to rest on Facebook for communication. Facebook also doesn’t assign a fee, so we can covenant however we wish and never compensate extra.



Craigslist and many other p2p commerce platforms are too focused on cramming tons of content listings onto a page. Some were built for a web before everybody always had a camera accessible so they’re not fun to browse. And though function and seductiveness data, they don’t know what we like. Marketplace was built-mobile initial on tip of photos, and is relevancy-sorted to make browsing fit and gratifying.

Those traits inspire pointless browsing. You could event on large discounts since a seller only wants to be absolved of something, that you’d never get from normal retailers.That creates regulating Marketplace a bit like value sport by flea markets or yard sales, where we can get vehement about what we competence discover. Apparel, cars, and ignored domicile furnishings valid a tip categories during testing.


Marketplace will have to contest with OfferUp, LetGo, Wallapop, Close5, and other startups eyeing Craig’s turf. Still, it’s a bit of a duck and a egg problem for Facebook, as it will have to concurrently build adult supply and demand. Luckily people don’t need to download a new app to get involved, and Facebook put Marketplace pound dab in a core of a app so it’s certain to be seen.

Now a questions are either Facebook will give Marketplace a promotional adore to flourish, and if it can keep a knowledge safe. “On Facebook people indeed paint their genuine selves” says Pan about a advantages of carrying a peer-verified form behind any customer and seller.

Spontaneous Shopping

If Facebook finds people are abusing their associate Marketplacers, Pan says it will take action, trimming from stealing an object inventory to banning someone from a underline all-together. You’re not authorised to sell guns, adult services, or other bootleg things, for example.

That said, Facebook doesn’t take shortcoming for rascal or other issues during a transaction. This is partially since it doesn’t only let we compensate for equipment directly like on an ecommerce site or height like eBay. If someone robs we when we go to their place to buy a couch, or we send remuneration for a camera that someone never ends adult shipping to you, you’ll have to take it adult with a police. “We see a purpose as only joining buyers and sellers” Pan explains.


Facebook has a possibility to do to offered what it did to video consumption: make it spontaneous. You don’t go to Facebook to purposefully see videos like on YouTube, though finish adult examination them anyways since a feed cleverly inserts them. Now that infrequent settlement could come to commerce.

“We found that a immeasurable infancy of people only like to browse. They don’t have a specific object in mind. They are just…scrolling by a feed and saying if there’s anything that competence seductiveness them” Pan concludes. “It mimics some of a offline offered function of going to a Sunday marketplace or to a mall. You competence not know a equipment we want, though you’re open to saying them.”


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