According to company sources as reported by The Daily and VentureBeat, Facebook is once again trying to make its mark in online classifieds after outsourcing Marketplace to an outside company three years ago. Now, some classified ads like apartment listings and roommates will likely be targeted to news feeds in a specific area and circle of friends. Also, the new Marketplace will have distinct sections for jobs, gigs and items for sale. Some listings will be free, but others, like ones selling a couch or television, will have a nominal fee of $5. If Facebook does charge fees for items for sale, this could generate more revenue for the company but would go against the largely free model promoted by competitors like Craigslist.
With one billion users behind them, Facebook’s probable return to the online classifieds market could provide more value to their users on real estate and items for sale based on their geographic area. Facebook has already made a similar effort in targeting users with specific ads and content through its Sponsored Posts, where brands and companies pay to promote their content.
Their return to online classified would differentiate themselves from competitors not only because of the sheer numbers that use Facebook, but also how the classifieds will integrate with other features on the site. Facebook’s hold on their users will likely pull away page views from Craigslist, which has made little changes to its successful format since it was founded in 1995. Expect things to heat up between Facebook and Craigslist in terms of attracting customers once Marketplace makes its return.
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