Is Facebook going to revive Marketplace?

Steven Loeb · November 1, 2012 · Short URL:

Reports that Facebook may bring back classified listings that will appear in news feeds

Not long after reviving its old Gifts feature with a new twist (you can send people real things this time!), it looks like Facebok might be going back to the well again, to drag up another idea from the past.

Remember Facebook Marketplace? It debuted in May 2007, and it was a way for people to basically try to sell things to their friends by placing classified ads for whatever you wanted to get rid of. The service was never very popular (I’d be surprised if many reading this ever used it, or even remember it) and Facebook basically gave it away to a company called Oodle in 2009.

Now Marketplace may be back, though in a slightly different form, The Daily reported Wednesday.

The new Marketplace ads that users create would be placed in their friends’ new feeds, instead of appearing on the right hand column, and would be targeted just to users that would find those specific ads relevant.

Users can post about jobs, apartment rentals, and items for sale, with photos and links to external resources. Users are allowed to share a post on their own timeline much like news stories are shared now. Think of it almost like a more targeted Craiglist.

Under the new service, not all ads would be created equal. Posts regarding housing, such as those trying to find a roommate, would be free. Users would be able to tag their friends, who could then pass it along to other people they know. This allows the posts to easily spread across the social network.

Others posts, though, such as someone trying to sell something, would cost less than $5 to promote.  

The new Marketplace jobs board, which would also be targeted, not only by geography, but by the qualifications. If a job requires a Master’s degree, for example, only those that list one in their education would be shown the listing.

There will also be a projects section, kind of like Craiglist’s Gig section, where users could put up posts with helpful advice about how to take care of certain problems.

"We are currently running a small test that makes other ad units eligible to appear in news feed. This is just a test; we have no further details to share at this time," a Facebook spokesperson told VatorNews

Facebook Revenue

Reviving Marketplace would fit right in with Facebook's recent strategy of finding new, and sometimes old, ways of getting its members to hand over their money.

First Facebook confirmed In September that it would be creating a system where its formerly free Offers program would suddenly cost businesses money if they want to run the offers in user News Feeds.

Offers were made available to any Page that has more than 400 fans, and the business were given ability to put a unique code, or a barcode, on their offers so they can more easily track how many people redeemed the coupon. On the flip side side, Facebook has also made it so that the service, which was originally free, will now cost money for businesses to run Offers in News Feeds. Businesses have to pay at a minimum of $5 for each offer, with the price going up based on the size of each brand’s Facebook page.

Then Facebook revived its Gifts service and started allowing people to buy and send each other real items, instead of virtual ones.

After that it began allowing users to pay Facebook to promote their stories by having them pushed to the top of the News Feed for a fee, reported to be $7 a post.

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