Social media platform Facebook has always been eager to find ways to add business to their platform. Now they have decided to take a page from their user’s books with the launch of Facebook Marketplace.
Facebook Marketplace: Buy and Sell Groups On a Massive Scale
The idea has clearly been taken from the users themselves. For years yard sale and trade groups have been popping up all over the social media giant. People gather to offer things they don’t need anymore, at the same prices you would find at a second hand shop. Everything from dishes, to pets, to houses have been listed in these groups, and they are wildly popular.
Seeing the demand, Facebook Marketplace has been setup to offer a more legitimate way of operating these sales. Users in US, UK, Australia and New Zealand will be able to post items within the next couple of days, with other countries to follow soon.
Here’s how it works:
Items are posted by category, location and keyword. You can search either through those terms, or browse by category like any online shop. You work out payment, pickup or shipping with the seller through PM’s, which makes it more like Craigslist than eBay.
This adds a social element to online yard sales that weren’t there before, and it will be interesting to see how it develops as new features are rolled out.
Speculation and Potential Changes
So far two major speculations are hitting the web, and both seem likely given the history of the social platform.
First, people believe that Facebook might soon implement some kind of payment system, possibly tied with a third party, to take payments directly through user’s account wallets. This would allow them to take fees, and we know how Facebook loves the chance to make a bit of cash through more that ads and data mining.
Second, it might impact groups. While they may not be saying so right now, if Facebook Marketplace is popular they won’t be wanting competition. Especially if they do decide to implement a payment system on site, and it begins to cut into profits. Meaning groups dedicated to yard sales could wind up disappearing, under the guise of protecting consumers.
That would be a shame…some of those groups have been around for years, and the people who maintain them work hard.