Last week we reported that Oodle Classifieds had launched a classifieds service on Facebook as the latest way for people to find or sell something. While we thought this was going to be Facebook’s primary classifieds system, we were wrong.
Unfortunately for Oodle, Facebook just launched their own classifieds service called Facebook Marketplace. It’s integrated into the whole Facebook experience, so chances are, Oodle’s Facebook Group probably won’t be doing very well. When you go to Facebook, you’ll notice a link to the Marketplace in the left side-bar for easy navigation.
It’s divided up into networks, just like I was hoping they would do so that when you buy, chances are it’s from someone in your area. I belong to the Iowa State and the Chicago, IL networks, so when I go to the marketplace I’m able to see what’s listed in my networks. If you belong to multiple networks, those will be tabbed up at the top so you can switch easily among them.
Facebook is huge with college students, and I can see this classifieds service becoming the best way to sell text books, find an apartment to sub-lease, etc. Here’s a taste of what’s listed in my network, and I’m sure it’s similar in other networks:
- Pet Sitter! – Going on vacation this summer?
- For Sale – $10 Graduation Cap & Gown
- $65 – Physical Chemistry – A Molecular Approach (text book)
If you decide that you want to list an item, all you have to do is click on “add a new listing” and from there you’re walked through the entire process. You select whether it’s something for sale, housing, jobs, or other, and then from there you select a sub-category and start entering in details. It’s a really simple process, and one that I could see many Facebook users using.
Wrapping it up:
There are a few things that concern me with Facebook’s system, with one of them being Spam. I’m not sure what system they have in place to prevent spam, but hopefully it’s a good one because it would be easy for the Marketplace to fill up with it.
And of course, another concern is rule breakers. They’ve got a pretty lengthy guidelines page that has listing rules, prohibited items (no firecrackers, hazardous goods, etc.), and general rules and guidelines, but that doesn’t mean that everybody will follow them.
I’ve read a few bloggers saying that newspaper classifieds will really be hurting, which I could see happening, but only in college towns where students have previously turned to their college newspaper to find an apartment for rent, or to sell a textbook.
All in all, I like it. In typical Facebook fashion, it’s a simple, clean interface that’s easy to use. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of effect, if any, that this will have on other classified services out there, both online and in print.