Facebook Marketplace Goes AI

Facebook’s Marketplace has gotten some new features on its two-year anniversary, with the enhancements being powered by artificial intelligence.

According to a report citing Facebook, the social media network operator rolled out price range suggestions and auto-categorization features on the Marketplace to make it easier to sell things. With Facebook’s new tools, items will be categorized based on photos and description, and the site will then suggest a price range that sellers can choose from. Facebook is also testing camera features that would rely on artificial intelligence to make product recommendations.

The report noted that Facebook isn’t the first when it comes to automating categorization and making price suggestions. eBay beat them to the punch, launching similar features earlier in 2018.

In the future, Facebook could potentially morph Marketplace into a discovery tool to find items to purchase via a smartphone camera. For example, a user could point a camera at friend’s jacket, snap a photo and then Marketplace would try to find the item through its listings. Facebook also plans to use artificial intelligence to help people design and furnish their homes.

In June, according to the report, Facebook began testing Marketplace ads in the U.S. that let users pay to “boost” their listings to more people through the News Feed. In addition, the social media site announced that it is launching product ads from businesses that appear within Marketplace.

“We recently started to expand Marketplace to include businesses, so people can browse products and services from people in their local communities, as well as from businesses,” the company wrote in a blog post at the time. “Over the past few months, we’ve enabled businesses to list a variety of offerings in Marketplace, such as used vehicles, home rentals, home services and jobs. And now, businesses can advertise in Marketplace to reach people where they’re actively shopping.”