Facebook re-launched its Marketplace feature recently, and it’s been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Drugs, adult services, and firearms have been bought and sold on the Marketplace. Justly, the feature has been earning its fair share of flak worldwide. Currently available in four countries – U.K., U.S., New Zealand, and Australia, iPhone and Android mobile users can access the service — It is not available for desktop application.
So, what exactly is Facebook Marketplace, and why was it re-launched in the first place? What can you sell on it and how?
1. Once upon a time there was a Marketplace…
Facebook rolled out its Marketplace feature almost a decade ago in 2007, which at the time was ‘almost a replica’ of Craiglist — users could list their belongings within their network. Everything from flash drives to comic books, stamp collections to odd jobs, can be listed. Hence, this is not the first time that Facebook has tried to relaunch its marketplace.
After a failed attempt to usurp Craiglist, Facebook relaunched a year later in 2008 with support from Oodle. And in 2015, the social network introduced ‘Buy and Sell Groups,‘ which unlike normal groups made for social interactions — Buy and Sell Groups allow users to list items for sale. Additionally, users could include an item price and delivery/pick-up locations for goods.