On Monday, Facebook launched Marketplace on iOS and Android so its users could buy and sell stuff to each other inside the Facebook app. Within hours, Facebook users started selling drugs, animals, weapons and adult services.
Facebook told the BBC that "a technical issue” stopped its review system from catching the violations. “We are working to fix the problem and we will be closely monitoring our systems to ensure we are properly identifying and removing violations before giving more people access to Marketplace. We apologize for this issue,” said Facebook.
Some Twitter users posted screen grabs of some of the items being sold on Marketplace during the glitch, including a bag of marijuana for $30 and baby hedgehogs for $50.
Marketplace is gradually being introduced to Facebook’s users. Facebook plans to make the app available to users in the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand within the next few days. The company said a desktop version will be “coming in the next few months.”
On Tuesday some analysts called Marketplace mishap a “non-event.
Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, wrote in a note, “Some investors have wondered if this misstep is a sign that the processes at Facebook are deteriorating. Launching new products, particularly social media products and marketplaces where the content is up to users, always has the potential to yield unintended consequences. We believe nothing has changed in Facebook’s ability to go after new markets and build world-class products and thus view the noise around Marketplace as a non-event.”