Social media giant, Facebook has recently launched a new service that allows people to buy and sell items with both connected friends and strangers.
The company has noticed that many of its users already use the site as a platform to sell unwanted items, with many Facebook groups set up primarily for this purpose. Now, Facebook is attempting to make this easier for its users through this new service, known as Marketplace.
Facebook revealed that there are already over 450 million selling and buying groups on the platform, with around a quarter of people registered to the network using it as a way of trading goods.
The tool intends to act as a way of putting users in touch with others in their local area who may be selling items that they would like to buy, or something they wish to sell. Marketplace can therefore be seen as one of these 450 million groups, but on a larger scale.
Marketplace will appear as a section of the main Facebook mobile app. Users will need to update their current version of the platform to be able to access it, but once there, they will be able to click on a specially designated tab for the Marketplace view. It will be located where the Messenger and notification tabs are, which could be an indicator of how Facebook will seek to encourage its users to use Marketplace.
Once a user clicks on the Marketplace tab, they will be taken to a screen where they will be able to see a list of everything that’s for sale in their local area. Furthermore, it can be altered to search for specific items of interest, and it can be adjusted to look in specific areas.
Should a user wish to sell something on the site, they can upload a picture of the item in question as well as a description in order to put it up for sale. Marketplace uses the site’s algorithms in order to predict the items of interest for an individual user. These predictions are gauged based on the kinds of pages that a user has liked to begin with. These will then be based on users’ activity in Marketplace once they have been using the tool for a while.
At present, no actual money will be sent through the social network, leaving traders to arrange payment and delivery themselves. It is expected that this will change in the future, as there is the prospect of introducing businesses to the platform.
Facebook has been testing Marketplace for nearly a year, with initial tests beginning in late 2015. It is being rolled out to users in the UK, US, New Zealand and Australia first, with the rest of the world being able to access the feature at a later date.