Last year Facebook rolled out Shops, which appears to be the social network’s bid to take on Amazon, and now it’s taking aim at the other end of the e-commerce spectrum: Craigslist.
On Monday Facebook debuted Marketplace, a section in its mobile app for people to put items up for sale that other people can buy.
Marketplace very much like Craigslist, i.e. very bare bones. Facebook is only providing a place for buyers and sellers to meet; the company will not be involved in payment processing or shipping, according to a Facebook spokesperson. And like Craigslist, Facebook’s Marketplace is local-oriented. Initially Facebook will show people nearby items for sale based on their location, though people will also be able to check out items in other locations or browse by category or price. If you find something you want, you have to send the seller a private message through Facebook to figure out how to exchange goods for money (or maybe barter).
And Marketplace is not really a place for brands. For now Pages cannot sell products through Marketplace, and there’s no way for anyone who can sell products in Marketplace to pay Facebook to have an item featured in Marketplace or shown to a specific group of people, the spokesperson said.
While there isn’t a way for people to pay to get their products featured in Marketplace, Facebook is featuring the swap meet-style shopping section in its mobile app. The company will replace the Messenger tab on its mobile app’s home screen with a tab for Marketplace.
But wasn’t Facebook already replacing the Messenger tab with something else, you might ask. Yes. In April Facebook said that a tab for Live, the social network’s prized live-streaming product, would take Messenger’s spot. But that never officially happened.
Facebook has rolled out the Live tab to a small percentage of people around the world and still plans to add a version of it — that will likely differ from what Facebook had originally teased in April — to the bottom of the news feed in its mobile app, according to a Facebook spokesperson. But TBD on when that will happen.