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Facebook Expands Marketplace Into 17 New European Markets

Facebook, the social media giant, is pushing further into the world of eCommerce, by expanding its Marketplace service, which connects local buyers and sellers, in the EU.

According to a news report in Reuters, Facebook said it would expand the shopping service into 17 new markets in Europe. The service, dubbed Marketplace, sits next to Facebook’s News Feed, photo, video, messaging and other services, increasing competition for the likes of Craigslist and eBay’s classified business section, noted the report.  

Reuters reported Marketplace will be rolled out during the week in European countries such as Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The eCommerce service doesn’t charge a fee to buyers or sellers and is designed to make it easy for users to swap used goods. Marketplace has the ability to post a product for sale through a mobile device or PC in under fifteen seconds, reported Reuters.

The service is already available in the U.S, the U.K. and Australia. The shopping service draws around 550 million monthly visitors, representing more than a quarter of its two billion users around the globe, noted Reuters.

“We want to make it easier to buy and sell, but we also want to make it community-based,” said Deborah Liu, vice president of Facebook Marketplace, in the report. Facebook told Reuters that the Marketplace service in the U.S. had 18 million items posted in May. The company wouldn’t disclose how much of that was sold because many of the actual transactions happen offline and via cash.

The EU move on the part of the social media giant comes as a result of all previous eCommerce ventures failing to pay off in any meaningful way. Take its most recent quarterly earnings report for evidence: Facebook reported a 45 percent increase in revenue, but 98 percent of it came from advertising on its platforms, noted Reuters.

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