Facebook yesterday announced the launch of a new ‘marketplace’ feature to join the social media giant’s ranks in a blog post yesterday. The launch of Marketplace has been designed to be in direct competition with companies such as Craigslist and eBay. The process of buying and selling goods on Facebook has grown from a group-based activity, to a now firmer and securer method. Facebook anticipates the launch of a mobile app in the coming days and the desktop version in the coming months. In an attempt to bypass market competition, Facebook will currently not charge any fees for posting or selling goods. Furthermore, they will not be involved in any transactions, however there appears to be scope for providing secure transactions via the site.
The move has come as somewhat of a surprise to a number of business experts, given Facebook’s attempt to move into the e-commerce market in 2007. Facebook have however emphasised that the reboot of an online selling service is much more community driven and focused. Given the vastly expanded number of users utilising Facebook’s services, it appears that the new feature is likely to gain traction quickly. With an estimated 450 million of its users already visiting buying and selling group pages each month, experts have estimated that the new marketplace feature has the potential to add an estimated $5bn in revenue to Facebook’s value.