Facebook enters the classifieds space with Marketplace

Facebook has launched Marketplace, a new feature which will allow nearby users to buy or sell products instantly within their communities. Marketplace is available in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on iOS and Android, plans to roll out to desktop and other countries in the coming months.

Facebook claims that around 450 million users interact on its various 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 e-commerce platform.

Based on geographical locations, Marketplace will list products offered by nearby users, and allow them to directly interact with the buyer/seller and carry on the transaction. Users can also send messages to sellers making offers.

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.

Marketplace is expected to help Facebook to retain its users and increase time spent on its app, which will in turn help the social site to charge more money from advertisers.

The classifieds space in India is already packed with players like Quikr, OLX, JustDial and Sulekha among others.

How does 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 it’s 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 an offer is made and accepted, Facebook will move out of the picture. The users will themselves interact and finalize the transactions.

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