Facebook is taking on Craiglist and OLX with its latest launch of Marketplace, a peer-to-peer platform to allow Facebook users sell or buy from their friends online without ease.
According to Mary Ku, Director of Product Management at 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.
”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,” Ku said. ”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.”
Users visit Marketplace, tap on the shop icon at the bottom of the Facebook app to either sell or buy or just compare prices of various goods and services in their community, near them.
Marketplace also allows one to search and filter results if they are looking for something specific, by category or price. The categories available include Household, Electronics and Apparel and users can switch from location to another or from a city to another to find what they are looking for.
If someone is looking for a chair for example, they can tap on the image to see more details from the seller, including a product description, the name and profile photo of the seller, and their general location. Users can also save the item to find it later.
After a thorough search, a user can send the seller a direct message from Marketplace to tell them you’re interested and make an offer then like all other marketplaces-the buyer and seller decide to meet to view the product. Facebook doesn’t own any inventory and doesn’t process any payments and neither does it deliver the items.
Like OLX, Craiglist, Gumtree among others, selling an item in Marketplace is simple. A seller takes a photo of their item, or adds it from their camera roll, enters a product name, description and price, confirms their location and selects a category, then finally, posts.
Facebook says 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 and in the coming months in other markets.