Facebook has introduced a new tool called Marketplace, which according to the social networking giant, will be a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community.
An official post by Facebook's director of product management - Mary Ku, says that 'In recent years, more and more people have been using the platform to connect in another way: buying and selling with each other. This activity started in Facebook Groups and has grown substantially.' It adds that more than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month - from families in a local neighbourhood to collectors around the world. With Marketplace, Facebook is now making this process more formal.
Over the next few days, the icon for Marketplace will replace the Messenger icon in the centre of the bottom row on Facebook's mobile app.
How does it work?
Tapping the Marketplace icon takes you to an algorithmically generated home page of items that people near you have listed for sale. To find something specific, you can search and filter your results by location, category or price. Browsing is also aided by category classification such as Household, Electronics and Apparel. The built-in location tool can be adjusted to the region you're looking in, or switch to a different city altogether.
When you find something interesting, you can tap on the image to see more details from the seller, including a product description, the name and profile photo of the seller, and their general location, and message them with an offer.
To sell an item, you can simply upload a photo, set a name, description, and price, and confirm location.
Marketplace launches this week in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, and Facebook says it will continue expanding to additional countries and make the tool available on the desktop version of Facebook in the coming months.