Over the next few days, Facebook will be rolling out Marketplace on its smartphone app. Think of it as Craigslist meets NextDoor all wrapped up inside your Facebook app.
The feature, according to a blog post by Facebook’s Director of Product Management Mary Ku, shows items listed by people near you, but you can also find specific items by searching and filtering results by location, category or price. A location toll lets you search in your area or a different area,.
Once you locate an item of interest you can tap on the image to learn details including a product description and the name and profile photo of the seller.
One difference between Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist is that everyone — both buyers and sellers — have to be Facebook account holders, which means they are not completely anonymous. NextDoor, an app which links neighbors to neighbors also requires users to be logged in.
Marketplace lets a potential buyer send the seller a direct message to make an offer. The seller can respond with a yes or no and, if yes, arrangements can made to pick or drop-off and pay for the item.
According to Facebook, you can post an item in four steps:
- Take a photo of your item, or add it from your camera roll
- Enter a product name, description and price
- Confirm your location and select a category
While the overwhelming majority of Craigslist users have had positive and safe interactions, there have been reports of people being robbed or assaulted when they get together to consummate a sale or look at an item. Like NextDoor, Facebook Messenger may be a tad safer in that you can identify the person on Facebook but there is never a guarantee that a person is who he or she says they are. People with fully completed profiles and a reasonable number of friends are more likely to be legit than those who don’t meet either of those criteria.
In general it’s a good idea to meet someone you don’t know from the real world in a public place before entering their home or letting them into you home. This could be a problem if you’re dealing with things like examining furniture, but I still recommend caution. You could also see if you and that person have mutual friends or take a look at whatever is publicly available on their Facebook profile, but again, no iron-clad guarantees that everything is true.
Te service is only being rolled out to Facebook users over 18, so no issues for teens as long as they didn’t lie about their age when signing up.
Here’s a Facebook provided video with more on Marketplace: