With the addition of a new dedicated e-commerce feature, Facebook is upping its game from a casual place to sell textbooks or swap clothes to a full-blown shopping destination.
Marketplace is the social media giant’s new buy-and-sell function. Available via the Facebook mobile app, users can post or look for items filtered by location, price and category. Offers are made through direct messages from Marketplace but Facebook doesn’t facilitate payment or delivery. Marketplace also allows users to keep track of transactions and save items for later viewing.
The platform is set to rollout out in the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand over the next few days, but Facebook plans to expand it onto desktop and into other countries, which means the platform is likely coming to Canada.
Facebook recently added a ‘sell something’ post option and created special buy and sell groups. According to Facebook, more than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month. In many ways, Marketplace is the natural progression of that functionality.
This move also puts Facebook in direct competition with other large e-commerce websites like eBay, Kijiji and Craigslist. Facebook’s over 1.7 billion active users and no-charge listing could give it a major advantage over sites like eBay.