It's rumored that Facebook is testing out a new service which might just make Craigslist obsolete.
With a current span of over 50 countries, Craigslist is fundamentally a classified ads site with a multitude of categories related to jobs, housing, services, and many more. Two sources within Facebook revealed to The Daily that the social networking giant has embarked on a classified ads project to engage its users as well as for them to engage one another.
Tentatively known as Marketplace, users will be able to create brief adverts which show up in their friends' news feed. Similar to Craigslist, almost anything goes with items ranging "from apartment rentals, to furniture sales, to job boards". In fact, Marketplace does share a few similarities with Facebook's own 'promoted posts' as well. According to the article, a nominal fee of less than US$5 would earn you a nice little ad in your contacts' feeds. If you're trying to sell a used computer, for example, that's just what your friends will see.
However, unlike Facebook's 'promoted posts', Marketplace ads will include multiple photos and links to external sites or resources. On top of that, users can also choose to share a post on their timeline much like how they would share a news piece. On that contrary, housing ads are reportedly free, and the service also allows users to tag friends as a suggestion.
"Say you were looking for a roommate in the Seattle area who is a neat freak and enjoys sushi. The ad would be shown to friends in the Puget Sound area. Those friends, however, could then pass it along to other across the country even if they aren't friends with the original poster of the ad. It’s a clever way to get users to load more pages, but it’s also a great way to get users to expand their online social circles", wrote Matt Hickey of The Daily.
There's also a Projects section, much like Craigslist's Gigs section, which enables users to share tips and information on a variety of topics from "from clearing brush to installing WordPress". It's still early days, but Projects might just serve as a great watering hole for the next generation of startup-wannabes.
Although Craigslist has a wider reach, Facebook's Marketplace service targets a user's contacts instead of adopting the former's shotgun approach. In other words, instead of selling an item or service to strangers, you are effectively selling it to people you know or those who might be interested.
Banking on corporate sponsorship alone might not be the way to go for Facebook, and it's great to see the social network firm taking a positive step forward in an attempt to monetize their resources while exploring their options as well.
Source: The Daily