Facebook is gunning after Craigslist and eBay.
On Monday the social network introduced a new tab in its mobile app called Marketplace, which lets you buy and sell things to people in your city. It will replace the Messenger shortcut in the bottom center of the main Facebook app.
Facebook says it created Marketplace because 450 million people already buy and sell things every month to each other through organized Facebook groups — think “Electronics for sale in Menlo Park, California.”
Still, it’s a bold move for Facebook to put classified listings so front and center. And investors took note, with shares of eBay trading down as much as 4.5% at one point on Monday, before gaining back some of the lost ground.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has tried to do classified listings, either — it launched a nearly identical feature that was also called Marketplace in 2007. While Marketplace didn’t catch on then, Facebook is clearly hoping it will now.
Here are some important things to know about how Marketplace works:
- When you want to buy something, the action will create a Messenger thread with the seller for the two of you.
- You’ll be able to browse items by categories (like electronics), and a dedicated “Your Items” section will show you open inquires on what you have available for sale.
- Facebook won’t facilitate the handling of payments or shipping through Marketplace. People who use Messenger in the U.S. can, however, opt to pay each other through the app’s built-in mobile payments feature.
- Marketplace is designed to show you items for sale in your area, but you can choose any city in a country where the feature works to see what’s for sale there and message people.
- Anything can be legally posted in Marketplace as long as it falls within Facebook’s commerce policies.That means no guns, illegal drugs, animals, or adult services.
- To police what is sold, a Facebook spokesperson said that the social network will rely on its employees proactively looking for offensive posts along with users reporting posts they think violate the policies.
- The new tab will be available for every Facebook user over 18 years old in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand through an app update within the next few days.
- As you may notice in the screenshots of Marketplace, Facebook is also working on a dedicated tab for videos. A spokesperson said that the tab (a version of which the company said would replace the Messenger shortcut months ago) is being tested with some users, but hasn’t rolled out to everyone yet.
- There’s still a shortcut to Messenger in the Marketplace redesign of the app. Now the shortcut sits to the left of the top search box.