Facebook wants to further empower users to host virtual yard sales on their online profiles. The social network is testing a feature that allows users to sell and search for items based on location and is giving it a premium slot on the mobile app, according to a post from Joshua Decker, CEO of social media discovery site Tagboard, on the site Product Hunt.
Called Marketplace, the tab is available on the lower bar on the core Facebook app. By clicking on the tab, Decker was shown a page that read, “Buy and sell things in your neighborhood.” A button that read “Browse marketplace” showed him a listing of nearby items. Each item showed a photo, a price, when it was posted and the general location of where it was located.
“We are continuing to test the Marketplace experience to make it easier for people to buy and sell products locally on Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
— Product Hunt (@ProductHunt) April 22, 2016
Selling used items online or via a mobile app is not a new concept. Indeed, Decker noted that it seemed similar to the company OfferUp. And of course there’s Craigslist for identifying products for sale by location. And for Facebook, the business of e-commerce and the name “Facebook Marketplace” is not new as well. In fact, it dates to 2007.
“Your listings in Marketplace can be anything — books and DVDs you don't need anymore, the dream job you are looking to land, or the special requirements it takes just to be your roommate — but one thing remains the same; you have something to offer, and someone else is probably looking for that thing,” a product manager at Facebook wrote in a May 2007 blog post.
Other small-scale experiences with local commerce have been spotted in other markets as well. Some users spotted a tab called “Local Market” in October, TechCrunch reported.
Facebook has also more widely been testing selling. For example, Facebook updated “For Sale Groups” in February 2015 that allowed users to more easily sell products within a Group on Facebook. These Groups had to be verified by Facebook. However, the new update appears to work much more simply and without verification.
Decker tested the feature. “I posted up a Samsung S6 for sale to see what the process was like. It was very quick and simple. I was able to upload images directly from my phone, add a description and set a price. It couldn't have been any simpler,” he wrote on Product Hunt.
It is unclear how many people the experience is available to and if it will be available more widely. Decker is based in Washington state. Other Facebook users have seen the new tab on their app and shared the news to Twitter earlier this month.
— Joshua Decker (@jdbt) April 15, 2016
— Faisal Masud (@FaisMasud) April 14, 2016
— Mike King (@micjamking) April 2, 2016