Facebook has delivered somewhat of a face slap to eBay and Craigslist by announcing its new “Marketplace” section. The new section formalizes the buying and selling already ongoing on the platform’s “Groups” feature, and eBay stock has dropped 3.5 percent following the announcement, according to Seeking Alpha.
This time, Facebook’s marketplace is geared to the mobile user, while the last version that launched nine years ago was for desktops only. According to Facebook, cars, clothes and furniture top the most popular items that people are buying and selling.
According to Engadget, Facebook users in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. will find a new shop icon in the Facebook app, which displays items that people locally are selling. A search function and results can be filtered by category, location or price. Facebook will list the name and details of a product if selected, a profile photo of the person selling it and their general location.
Facebook states that it does not facilitate payments, although Messenger does allow payment transactions, and Facebook will not charge users for listings. Although the Facebook marketplace will only be available in four countries to start with, it can enter new markets because no oversight of sales and payments is required.
According to Facebook Product Manager Bowen Pan: “Marketplace is a single destination where people can discover, buy and sell things in their neighborhood and community. The feature will also surface the most relevant items when we don’t know what we’re looking for. It’s designed for people, not big businesses.”
Facebook contends that it will “continue expanding [Marketplace] to additional countries” via its iOS and Android apps and will make the service available on desktops “in the coming months.”
Facebook has over 1.5 billion users, and eBay and Craigslist will be watching activity on Marketplace.
Facebook stock was up 0.2 percent pre-market.