You do basically bloody every conceivable action via Facebook these days, but there’s one function they’ve historically struggled to convince people to do: buy shit. Yup, the many attempts Facebook have made to introduce some kind of widely popular e-commerce functionality have mostly fallen flat on their face, but they’re trying to shake that up with Facebook Marketplace.
It’s launching on mobile in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand straight up, so it’ll probably be part of your life whether you like it or not.
And it could be a nightmare for eBay and Etsy. It’s not the first time they’ve tried something under the name Marketplace – they first went in for it back in ’07, if you even remember that year – and it fell flat on its face. But the new iteration of Marketplace is mobile-only, and kinda works more like a location-activated Gumtree.
Basically, it shows you people in your local area who are selling shit, and you can easily click and buy that shit. It has an immediate edge over eBay and Etsy purely by virtue of the fact that it’s integrated right into the app you use for all the other stuff in your life – and the interface looks pretty nice.
This kind of peer-to-peer sales are the new way of doing things, and social media makes it a lot easier than traditional platforms like, say, Etsy or eBay. If you’ve spent more than two seconds on Facebook groups like Perth Beer Economy you’ll probably intuitively get why this is probably a big growth area.
One large caveat: selling guns, marijuana, pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs is prohibited on the service. Sorry bongheads. Stick to the darkweb.