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Facebook expanding its Craigslist-rival to include businesses

Facebook recently rolled Marketplace out more broadly, introducing it to European users. The feature is supposed to make it easier to find and sell products in your local area. It connects you to people who want to exchange goods but doesn’t handle the actual payment transfer.
In a conversation with Recode this week, Deb Liu, the Facebook vice president responsible for Marketplace, said Facebook’s exploring several ways to build out the service. It wants to turn it into a place where retailers can sell their wares, moving beyond its initial focus on sales by individuals.
The idea is to use retailers to help Facebook understand how people are engaging on Marketplace. By looking at the products retailers are selling, it can work out what people want to find when they use the service. The company will follow the users and add more features around that product type.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace

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Facebook’s already discovered one popular product category. It noticed a lot of users were posting private car sales on Marketplace, making them more visible to other community members. Because of the success of this niche, Marketplace will soon start to show used cars from local dealerships.
In this way, Facebook will gradually expand Marketplace to become the first place to visit when making a used purchase. It intends to use Marketplace to sell everything from real estate to concert tickets. In most cases, the kinds of items found on Marketplace are already offered for sale on a Page or in a group. The service will pull all the disparate listings together into a single shopping hub.
Even though Marketplace is expanding, Facebook wants to keep the focus firmly on the products. It doesn’t intend to add transactions to the feature, instead remaining content to act as the meeting point for local sellers and buyers.
Liu told Recode that the company’s more concerned about increasing engagement between individuals and businesses, keeping the revenue within the local community. For now at least, sellers will get to keep everything they earn but will still be reliant on third-party payment providers.

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