After receiving behemoth of response on its Instagram Stories feature, Facebook is all set to eat out the Internet again with another cherry on top, Facebook Marketplace. The new mobile-only platform is meant to be the destination to discover, buy, and sell items within your local community.
Let’s find out what the new feature holds for you, and could it be the new king of peer-to-peer selling?
Not Facebook’s first buy-sell rodeo!
Doesn’t this concept sounds eerily familiar to you? (Hint: NO! Facebook didn’t sneak this one from Snapchat!)
Facebook Marketplace is the social media giant’s second innings with peer-to-peer marketing. The Marketplace’s first iteration was launched in 2007 and unfortunately, was met with lukewarm response. Facebook replaced its Marketplace with the “For Sale Groups”, which till now have managed to get 450 million people buying and selling the goods.
With such a huge response, the social network had the breadth and scale to transform the concept and hence, the new Facebook Marketplace!
What’s different about Facebook Marketplace 2.0?
Facebook has aggressively worked on developing a bigger and better local commerce platform for years. The Marketplace will be replacing the Messenger shortcut, taking the main spot in the navigation tab. This not only puts the new feature prominently on the map but will also encourage people to spend even more time on the social site.
What’s in there for you?
The virtual commerce place has something for everybody, whether you are a buyer, a seller, or even a bored Facebook user browsing through your timeline.
Browse To Buy
Your Marketplace opens to a tailored feed of items you can buy from your community based on your preferences. The listings are as per relevancy, thanks to Facebook’s data analysis of your profile and tags sellers add to their listings.
Filters such as item name, location, category, or price are also made available to bring ease to specific item searches. You will also get pre-made messages such as “Is this item still available?” or “What’s the condition of this item?” to make your buying experience simpler.
Sell Your Stuff
Selling an item in Marketplace is just as easy as 1-2-3. Rather than having to set up a new profile, simply:
- Take a photo of the product, or upload one from your camera roll.
- Enter an item name, product description, and an asking price. Select a category to put your product in.
- Confirm your location and publish the listing. Tada!!
Facebook Marketplace is already winning the peer-to-peer market
Though the Marketplace is still in its beta mode, the feature is already making waves in the digital marketing world. Even with a limited pilot launch in US, UK, New Zealand, and Australia, Facebook might soon be ousting its competitors like eBay due to these three reasons.
The best part about Facebook Marketplace is that it is trustworthy. Having access to the buyer’s or seller’s Facebook profile makes the entire exchange process a bit more transparent and of course, a bit less creepy.
If Facebook was a country, it would be the most populous nation on earth. It’s 1.71 billion monthly active users spend an average of 50 minutes individually on the social platform. By building a marketplace where its users already spend their time, Facebook is taking shopping convenience to a new level.
Users might sail through the platform simply because they’re bored. The built-in Messenger makes it easy for buyers and sellers to easily chat without exchanging phone numbers. Plus, Facebook also doesn’t charge a fee, so users and buyers can transact however they want without paying an extra dime.
Another plus that Facebook Marketplace has is its spontaneity. You don’t go to Facebook to purposely view the videos but end up viewing a few because of the platform’s intelligent algorithm. Facebook has added this casual pattern to its e-commerce space, making it more natural for the buyers.
That being said, the Marketplace has its own shortcomings.
Firstly, the e-commerce gateway isn’t prone to illegal break-ins. Even though Facebook doesn’t allow to sell guns, adult services, or other illegal things on its portal, some notorious sellers still managed to break into the system.
Secondly, the Marketplace isn’t as safe as you would like it to be. Facebook has limited its role as a connector between buyers and sellers and isn’t willing to take the responsibility for any fraud or other issues during the transaction. This is partially the reason why it doesn’t just let you pay for items directly like e-commerce websites such as eBay.
Last but not the least is its most sorely lacking feature – no rating or review option.
The new era of virtual rummage
With the Marketplace revamp, Facebook has proved that it is smart enough to take advantage of its existing ecosystem, benefiting not only the buyers and sellers but also itself. If Facebook manages to turn all its current minus into a big plus, a domino effect will be in play, and a $5 billion in annual revenue won’t be too far off from the Marketplace