Craigslist is a remarkable living time capsule of the Internet Age — not only because it looks like it still runs off a Geocities template but because its business model hasn’t changed to any great degree since it started.
What goes up must come down, though, and Close5’s 7 million app downloads may give Craigslist something to worry about.
That’s the word from TechCrunch, which explained that, though the Close5 app has received relatively little attention, its user base has steadily expanded since the classifieds app launched in 2014. While 7 million downloads is nothing to sneeze at, especially considering the platform boasted just a quarter of a million as of June 2015, it’s somewhat difficult to compare to the growth (or contraction) of Craigslist, since the larger classified site doesn’t boast a mobile presence whatsoever.
However, it’s precisely that which Close5 CMO Oezguer Cakir thinks has allowed his company to sneak up on the giant of the personal ad world.
“[Craigslist] hasn’t adopted new technology, like mobile,” Cakir told TechCrunch. “That is the angle where we go in and reinvent the buying and selling process. That means making use of the mobile device in many cases; one, of course, is getting the proximity and your location, but the other part is making use of your camera.”
Cakir and Close5 have offered an updated experience compared to Craigslist for years — the image-centric, mobile-optimized app contrasts starkly with Craigslist’s user interface — but the company has yet to overcome the inertia of its larger competitor. For whatever reason, though, Craigslist has maintained its market lead, though Cakir is confident Close5 features user engagement performance unrivaled across the rest of the personal classifieds business.
“When we compare our Close5 user engagement with our other classifieds businesses around the world — even though we’re in the early stages — the engagement of the users is as high as the mature markets,” Cakir said. “So, it’s really positive.”