Facebook is trying to replace Craigslist with a buy and sell feature called Marketplace, which lets user post things for sale or buy things.
Facebook has also tried this once in the past in 2007 with the same name but the feature was ultimately retired to a third party Oodle in 2009.
However, this time around things might turn out to be quite different. Previously the Marketplace that Facebook launched was only available on desktops where Craigslist already had a strong presence. But now majority of Facebook users visit the site on their mobile screens, where Craigslist does not even have an app. And smartphones also give better location data to Facebook and it can show things for sale better this time.
Facebook has tested the feature now for more than a year in difference Facebook groups. The director of product management at Facebook, Mary Ku, had written in blog post that more than 450 million people are now visiting different Buy and Sell groups on Facebook every month. However, historically Facebook has had trouble kicking off its eCommerce features except its ads.
Initially there will not be any money for Facebook with feature because the actual transaction will be directly dealt between the seller and the buyer without involvement of Facebook. From today onward, users can click the ‘Shop’ icon on the bottom of their smartphone screen to visit Marketplace. However, this feature is currently available only in U.K, U.S, New Zealand and Australia.