Facebook Launches Marketplace To Allows Nearby User To Buy/Sell Products; Combines Craigslist, eBay & Amazon Into One
Around 450 million Facebook users interact on various Facebook groups every month, and initiate transactions of all kinds. Backed with such a massive user base of communities, Facebook has decided to dig its teeth into the lucrative ecommerce genre.
Facebook has launched Marketplace, a new feature which will allow nearby users to buy or sell products, instantly. Based on your geographical locations, Marketplace will list products offered by nearby users, and allow you to directly interact with the buyer/seller and carry on the transaction.
As of now, Facebook is not providing any assistance in payment or ensuring that the product is indeed genuine. In a way, it has combined the features of Craigslist, eBay and Amazon into one product, and combined it with the location based services which is powered by their billions of users.
Marketplace is a mobile-only initiative, as the feature would be visible only on the mobile app as of now. And this new product has been launched in 4 countries as of now – US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
A safe gamble from Facebook to experiment more about ecommerce and understanding their users’ buying/selling habits. But more than that, Marketplace will help Facebook to retain their users, and increase time spent on their app; which will inturn help them to charge more money from advertisers.
A win-win situation for Facebook here.
How Will It Work?
Just take a photo of the product you are going to sell; write a title, description and its price; confirm the location and its done.
Marketplace will entice casual users to browse through the listings of nearby users, just like a Sunday flea market or a mall, and then the interested parties can start a chat and finalize the deal.
Once the offer has been made, and then accepted, Facebook will move out from the process, the users will themselves interact and finalize the transactions.
Illegal Products Won’t Be Allowed To List
Facebook has a strict ecommerce policy, according to which sale and listing of animals, firearms and alcohol is not allowed on their platform; and the same rule would be applied for Marketplace as well.
Now, considering that Marketplace won’t be having rule-enforcement mechanism like eBay, Facebook is relying on community-driven initiatives to control the marketplace, and ensure that no unauthorized items are put on sale.
Bowen Pan, Project Manager at Facebook said, “We have built the tools to allow our community to report on any items that may violate our policies. It has well as a whole host of flags that people that can put out for people that may not be acting in the best faith. Once we see a flag, we have a team that will promptly review these and take action..”
Having said that, if a buyer is ripped off by a seller, then Facebook won’t be taking any responsibility.
Considering that more 80% of Facebook’s revenues is being generated from smartphone users, Marketplace is a nice tactics to keep the user hooked on to their app, and allow them more time to show advertisements.
Whether Facebook’s Marketplace will place a serious dent in the classifieds/marketplace niche or not, only time will tell.