Facebook is set to take on Indian online marketplace Olx and Quikr as it tests its own Marketplace to connect local buyers and sellers in India.
As reported by Economic Times, Marketplace won't charge any fees from buyers or sellers and will aim to make it easy for users to trade mostly secondhand goods, with the ability to post items for sale via smartphone or computer. In India, users mainly buy and sell jewellery and accessories, household goods, electronics and apparel.
Facebook hasn't decided on any categories yet as it believes the categories will automatically start forming once the Marketplace goes live. Users will be able to choose their product according to the radius they opt for.
Facebook will further roll out tools around privacy, so users don’t overshare information and will make investments in machine learning to make sure that items such as guns, cigarettes, alcohol are not listed. Users can report fake seller accounts and banned items.
Karandeep Anand, director, product management, Facebook said: “In India, we are seeing more and more people who are using social media to buy and sell goods. With the marketplace, we are making the experience a lot easier and, therefore, encouraging the behaviour and adding to the economic activity locally.
“Sellers are everyday people living in everyday communities such as students, artisans, NGOs. So, rather than going and building a sellers’ market like how e-commerce players would, our goal is serve whoever is on Facebook and give them better tools. In a different market, we see different behaviour. In the US, products sold are mostly pre-owned. In Asian markets, it is a combination of pre-owned and new goods.”
Facebook is also to introduce Discover tab in India to allow users easy access to bots and business pages