Facebook launches Marketplace shopping
October 4, 2016,
Facebook yesterday introduced Marketplace, a buying and selling destination accessed by tapping a prominently placed shopping icon (resembling a canopied storefront) within the Facebook app.
The company says more than 450 million people a month shop in Facebook’s buy and sell groups in community marketplaces, the most popular items being furniture, cars and clothes. As of the second quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.71 billion monthly active users.
Marketplace opens with photos of items that people near you have listed for sale, similar to Craigslist’s location-specific search results. Items may be searched and filtered by location, category or price, or browsed in a variety of categories such as Household, Electronics and Apparel. A built-in location tool adjusts the region you’re looking in, or can take you to a different city. A tap on an image reveals more details from the seller, including a product description, the name and profile photo of the seller, and their general location.
Shoppers can initiate a purchase with a direct message to the seller indicating interest and an offer. It’s up to the buyer and seller to work out the details. At present, Facebook does not facilitate the payment or delivery of items in Marketplace.
In addition to the U.S., Marketplace is rolling out this week in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand for iPhone and Android. The company said it will continue expanding to additional countries and make Marketplace available on the desktop version of Facebook in the coming months.
USA Today reported some of the initial sellers in yesterday’s launch began using Marketplace to sell items that violate Facebook’s commerce policy and community standards – items like “drugs, animals, adult services, weapons and themselves.” Ku issued a company apology, and said a technical issue prevented the company from identifying prohibited posts. "We are working to fix the problem and will be closely monitoring our systems to ensure we are properly identifying and removing violations before giving more people access to Marketplace."
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