Facebook is testing a Craiglist-style Local Markets feature

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Glitch Revealed Facebook Is Working on a Craigslist-Like ‘Local Market’.

A number of Facebook users recently reported seeing the new feature appearing briefly in their Facebook iPhone app, sometimes in place of the “Messenger” button, Tech Crunch reported.is known to test different features and services that may never see the light of day, so take the appearance of a new local marketplace feature with a grain of salt. The feature, which is only in testing but not broadly distributed, is a more structured marketplace aimed at buyers and sellers, allowing Facebook users to browse through or post items to sell across a variety of product categories like autos, appliances, furniture, clothing, household, kids, books, and much more. Recently, Facebook iPhone users have reported seeing a new feature called “Local Market” which, in some cases, briefly showed up where the Messenger button is typically located.

In the iOS app, a new button appeared in the bottom navigation bar which took users to a categorized classified ads location, writes Nathan Ingraham for Engadget. At long last, Facebook is officially taking on Craigslist and eBay with its own buying and selling feature called “Local Market.” The social-media giant confirmed today that it is indeed running trials of the functionality. “We are in the very early stages of testing new ways for more people to easily discover, buy, and sell items with other people on Facebook,” a spokesperson for the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company told Entrepreneur moments ago.

The new section included both a ‘Buy’ and ‘Sell’ interface, as well as a way to search across the marketplace for particular items using keywords. One of Elmaz’s coworkers was also able to access the Market, and saw that it was pulling listings from various local For Sale Facebook groups she had joined.

Users could customize their own Local Market by selecting “collections” they wanted to follow such as “Everything Free,” “Men’s clothes,” “Top Cars,” “Dress for Less,” and others. For some, the new functionality appeared as a blue button (that looks like an awning-covered store window) in the middle of the bottom of the main Facebook iOS app screen. When she posted an item to one of those groups, she saw she had the option to also “post to Local Market.” So it’s a safe bet that Local Market will work partly by aggregating listings from across a range of Facebook For Sale groups, so long as the seller opts to crosspost their item.

Sets like Household, Sporting, Toys and Books are there in the ‘Local Markets’ section, and if users find a product that they intend to buy, then they can contact the seller by clicking ‘message to buy,’ says a report from BI. Some of you may remember “Facebook Marketplace” from a few years ago, a venture made in conjunction with another buy-sell app Oodle, which failed to catch on and eventually petered out. Recently, the firm said that it wants to curate the items that businesses are selling from their Pages for which it is expanding its ‘Shop’ section. When you post in Local Market, people who live near you will see your item in Local Market under Favourites.” The Local Market is, according to reports, broken; it loads endlessly and doesn’t allow users to access most areas, for example.

It also said it was exploring the idea of listing that content, which is being sold in Groups in this section, and it appears that this concept could be ‘Local Markets,’ the report said. Apart from expanding its e-commerce ambitions, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is also making efforts to cash on the next billion people, who will be online soon. Earlier this month, Facebook hinted that this long-awaited pivot was coming, noting that its users are warming up to more product-related content across several channels within its robust platform — in groups, company Pages, news feeds, search results and sponsored content offerings. Also, last February, with an eye on boosting product discovery, the social mammoth announced new marketing tools for sellers, along with enhanced search and browsing capabilities for buyers.

It has since rolled out more tools for those groups, including a “Sell” feature that allowed members to create posts where they could add a description, set a price, and set a pick-up or delivery location. There’s no word yet of the new initiative on Facebook’s newsroom website, nor has founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a peep about it on his wall. It is easier to view these ads on slow net connections and cheap mobile devices, a trait common in emerging markets, in comparison with traditional video ads.

The addition, however, had the side benefit of adding more structure to what were before just text posts accompanying photos – something that could help Facebook roll out a more robust marketplace like Local Market. I’m personally in at least a dozen nearby sale groups, which can be challenging when you’re trying to find something specific, like a coffee table or used bike, for example.

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