450 million people already visit “buy and sell” Groups on Facebook each month, and now the company is launching a whole tab in its app dedicated to peer-to-peer shipping, techcrunch informs.
Facebook Marketplace lets you browse a relevancy-sorted feed of things to buy from people who live nearby, and quickly list your own stuff for sale. Integration with Facebook Messenger lets you haggle or arrange a meet-up, and you know more about who you’re dealing with than on anonymous sites like Craigslist thanks to Facebook’s profiles.
Marketplace is launching today in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on mobile, but could roll out globally and on the web if it’s popular. There’s an unfortunate lack of a two-way rating system which helps discourage scamming and bad behavior. There’s also no native checkout option for transactions beyond ad-hoc payment through Messenger, which is annoying but promotes in-person exchanges instead of fraud-laden shipping.
Facebook has been trying to win local commerce for almost a decade. It first launched a “Marketplace” for classified listings about things for sale, housing, jobs, and more. But Marketplace never gained massive traction and in 2009 Facebook transferred control to Oodle, the commerce platform powering it.
Then last year, Facebook took another swing, building a special “For Sale” post option to Groups, which almost a quarter of its 1.71 billion users now visit each month.