Is Facebook Market taking over Craigslist?

Stephanie Huizar | @steffhuizar

Facebook is a place where people gather together to connect and share with family and friends. In recent years, many people have started using Facebook Groups as a place to buy and sell from people they know and trust.  More than 450 million people visit the “buy and sell” groups on Facebook each month instead of leaving the site to search Craigslist.  With that level of activity and interest, Facebook has launched the Facebook Marketplace app specifically to address this need.  

Photo Credit: Independent

Photo Credit: Independent

Facebook Marketplace takes this Groups activity to a new level.  This app helps them search for specific items from people they already know or may be geographically near by.  Unlike Craigslist, this mitigates the concern around transacting with strangers in strange locations.  Each individual has their Facebook profile picture and public persona available to ease the “unknowns”. For example, a profile with few friends and a random profile photo could be an indicator to steer clear.  Scammers frequently have a tough time building up friends on Facebook. People have a better understanding of what seller they can trust.

Photo Credit: Forbes

Photo Credit: Forbes

Facebook Market has three main features:

  1. Browse To Buy- When you open Facebook Market, a filtered feed pops up with different items available from your local community. The items presented in the feed are generated from prior Marketplace search history as well as pages you’ve “liked”.  Marketplace has pre-defined user messages (i.e. “Is this item still available?” or “What condition is this item in?”) to make it easier for people to shop.   

  2. Sell Your Stuff- Selling your items is simple.  Take a photo of the item for sale, add a description/caption, set a price, and publish it.

  3. Search Your Surroundings- Marketplace has different multiple browsing categories like “Household” or “Electronics” to aid in the search. You can also search a specific item you are interested in, and filter by location, price, or category. Once you find an item you are interested in buying, you will see the seller's relative location, but not their exact address, unless they give it to you.  

An initial area of improvement for this tool includes the ability for seller reviews.  Where other tools like Amazon or Ebay provide a seller rating/review option, Marketplace doesn’t have that available today.  

Facebook Market was added to the navigation bar in replace of the messenger shortcut in Facebook for iOS. This is a reliable and quick way to get to the Facebook Marketplace to get more sellers and buyers use the app.

Photo Credit: VoxMedia

Photo Credit: VoxMedia

Facebook Marketplace policies allow for the removal of certain items, such as guns, adult services, or other items deemed illegal or abusive.  In these cases, Facebook reserves the right to remove the listings and potentially ban the seller from Marketplace. Facebook has chosen not to enter into the payment processing arena at this time.  Each seller/buyer is responsible for making those arrangements independent of the Facebook Marketplace app.

Facebook Marketplace is available for iOS and Android in four countries: U.S., New Zealand, Australia, and UK. According to Facebook, the Marketplace will launch for desktop version over the next few months.   

Are you using Facebook Market? If so, tweet us at @socialmediadel and let us know what you think of it!