Facebook is making a formal entry into the online marketplace sector with the launch of a dedicated service that will allow people to buy and sell from in their local communities.
People have long taken to Facebook to quickly flog unwanted goods to friends within their network. But this will give those same people the opportunity to sell to a wider network as well as give local businesses a new way of reaching people.
The integration has been called ‘Marketplace’ allows users to filter goods by location, category or price – with categories including the likes of ‘Household, Electronics and Apparel’.
By analysing the user’s location, Facebook users will be able to view nearby offers.
The service seems to be a mix of eBay (minus the bidding and payment functionality) and Gumtree or Craigslist.
But it's the integration with Messenger that could give Facebook the edge. Rather than the clunky experience of emailing anonymous addresses or using in-site messenger boards, Facebook is going to encourage people to haggle or meet-up using the chat app.
Mary Ku, director of product management, explained: “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. Marketplace makes it easy to find new things you’ll love, and find a new home for the things you’re ready part with. We’ll continue to build new options and features to make this the best experience for people.”
It will be available to users over 18 in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on the Facebook app for iPhone and Android.
It will be available on desktop and more markets in “the coming months”. Here’s Facebook’s video promoting the service.
Want to try Facebook Marketplace? Follow our step by step guide and you should have your first item for sale in no time.