Tuesday 4 October 2016

Facebook Launches Marketplace to Let Users Buy and Sell Items - It's like a cross between Craigslist and eBay

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Facebook on Monday launched a new online “Marketplace” allowing members of the huge social network to buy and sell with each other.
The new feature puts Facebook squarely in competition with local online selling platforms led by Craigslist, and offers an alternative to marketplaces like eBay.
Facebook said the new program formalizes what some members have already been doing in Facebook Groups for years.

“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,” said product manager Mary Ku in a blog post.
“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.”
The new feature helps facilitate this with “a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community,” Ku said.
Marketplace will display photos of items for sale based on proximity, and users can adjust their location and search for specific items or categories such as clothing, household items or electronics.
The new feature will be rolling out to over-18 users in the United States, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand in the coming days on the Facebook app for iPhone and Android, with additional countries and a desktop version in the coming months.
Anyone who's spent time in a Facebook neighborhood group page has likely seen a post from a friend or stranger asking if someone wants to buy this or wants to sell that. According to Facebook, around a fourth of everyone on the platform—or about 450 million of the 1.7 billion users—visit buy and sell groups every month.
"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," Mary Ku, Facebook's director of product management, wrote in a blog post. "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."
Here's how the Marketplace will work: Users can first search for an item based on category, location and price. Then they'll be able to scan through photos and descriptions for items listed for sale in any given city or neighborhood before making an offer or messaging the seller. (This method might seem a bit safer than Craigslist, since buyers and sellers will be able to identify each other based on their user account.)
Facebook says it won't facilitate payment or delivery within Marketplace, which is rolling out over the next few days in the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand for both iOS and Android. The company said it plans on offering the service to more countries in the "coming months." A desktop version of Marketplace is also in the works.

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