If you opened the Facebook App anytime lately, chances are that you noticed an extra tab in the middle (in the left sidebar on Facebook Web). It is the new Facebook Marketplace section that lets you buy and sell things locally via Facebook.
After a limited rollout in November last year in India, Facebook seems to have spread the Marketplace concept to more devices across the country. This feature was initially launched in October 2016, for UK and USA. Over the time, India is the 36th country to receive it.
Why do we even need Facebook for local shopping?
Facebook has rapidly grown from a social network to a business-oriented network with the inclusion of ‘sales’ Groups, Facebook ads, the recent Facebook Watch section, and now, the local classifieds section.
Integrating a shopping window into a platform with over 1 billion active users does have the advantage of popularizing it without much effort; but the question here is: Do we really need it?
For one reason, that it will provide a social validation for buyers in the form of mutual connections (if any) and a Facebook profile that you can look into. However, we must also consider that these details can be hidden from buyers as part of the privacy settings, which makes the existence of the feature, quite redundant.
We already have a number of C2C services that allow easy local shopping; but with Facebook Marketplace, it has moved one step closer to our news feed. This might make it easier for you to make a shopping decision but will the feature blend in with Facebook’s ecosystem without annoying its users, will be the thing to see.
Local Shopping With Facebook Marketplace
The Facebook Marketplace follows the C2C (Consumer to Consumer) model, just like OLX and Quickr, wherein, you can enlist articles for sale and everyone who is in a given geographical area would be able to shop them. Alternatively, you can view listings from other people on Facebook Marketplace and shop for products.
The shopping environment is not limited to used or refurbished products. It is open to wholesale sellers and direct selling via the platform. This is something that will be useful in the social landscape of Facebook, but it doesn’t essentially differ from other such services.
Facebook already provides such features in Facebook Groups but with Marketplace, it will be much more open and direct.
How to shop or sell on Facebook Marketplace?
The Marketplace section allows you to post a listing with details such as product photos, a 100-word description, the price and the location where the listed item will be available. You can also choose to offer product-shipping from your end and add multiple items in a single listing.
There are several categories under which you can classify your listing such as Home & Garden, Clothing, Accessories, Electronics, and more. The interesting part is that it has options to enlist real estate and vehicles as well. Facebook wants to make sure that it covers everything.
While shopping, you can chat with the seller to make a deal. Facebook Marketplace doesn’t provide any sort of payment method or delivery service to add to it.
What do you feel about this update?
Yay or Nay?
Let us know in the comments below!