FACEBOOK-MARKETPLACE

Facebook, Inc, world’s biggest social network that boasts 2 billion monthly users, is testing a ‘Marketplace’ feature for India where users can ‘buy and sell items with people in their community’.

“This activity started in Facebook groups and has grown substantially. More than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month—from families in a local neighborhood to collectors around the world,” Mary Ku, director of product management, Facebook, had said in a blog post while introducing the service in the US last year.

Though the sale and purchase of gadgets, furniture, vehicles and even real estate have been happening on Facebook groups in India as well, the company now plans to bunch up all such posts and groups under a common tab on the app.

“People in Mumbai can visit Marketplace by tapping on the Marketplace icon inside the Facebook app,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Marketplace charges no fees to buyers or sellers and aims to make it easy to trade mostly Second-hand goods, with the ability to post items for sale via smartphone or computer. In India, users are at present mainly buying and selling jewelry and accessories, household goods, electronics, and apparel.

The company added, “We don’t have a particular date in India for the pan-India launch. The goal of the test is to start learning. As we learn, we will understand whether the product meets the needs, finds it engaging. As we learn, we will start rolling it more broadly”.

Facebook is not mentioning any categories right now. Once people start listing, categories will start getting formed. A product can be searched according to a radius you choose the company mentioned.

“Sellers are everyday people living in everyday communities such as students, artisans, NGOs. So, rather than going and building a sellers’ market like how e-commerce players would, our goal is to serve whoever is on Facebook and give them better tools,” said Anand. “In a different market, we see different behavior. In the US, products sold are mostly pre-owned. In Asian markets, it is a combination of preowned and new goods.”