It’s no secret that the social network is often the place for online transactions. Sellers usually display their items on various groups, which now have an option specifically designed for facilitating sales related posts. Still, groups designed for buying and selling will probably become a thing of the past, once the new Facebook mobile feature, Marketplace, becomes available.
The feature is set to be launched this week, only in the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zeeland, so you should watch for that new icon in your Facebook app. Like most things on the giant network, Marketplace will display items according to your likes and interests. Not only will it display sellers in your area, but project manager Bower Pan says it will make it easier for people who just want to browse stuff before and if they decide to buy:
“You don’t know exactly what you want but you want to browse.”
The new Facebook mobile feature will be free to use, a logical step considering that smartphones generate about 84% of the company’s revenue. If browsing is as fun and easy as promised, the advertising revenue should increase substantially, especially since Facebook boasts over 1 million daily mobile users. Considering this, there doesn’t seem to be a need or desire to create a desktop version of the feature.
There is of course, the question of the security of the transactions and how the feature may become a breeding ground for frauds. While it may have the same guarantees as eBay or Amazon, we all know the extra miles Facebook goes to assure their users present only their real identities.
According to Pan, users will still be able to report any dubious activities. While that will be useful in detecting any posted illegal items, such as drugs or firearms, it does not guarantee the safety of Marketplace’s users. The feature itself is, after all, designed to also facilitate face to face transactions, where, to put it bluntly, you’re basically on your own. As with any new feature, it may take some time before it’s fully developed to its desired user-friendliness and security.
What do you think about Marketplace? Will you use it to buy, sell or just browse items online?
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