What is more powerful than a massive location aware social network? Why, its the FaceBook Marketplace. Looks like everyone’s favorite campus hang out spot is getting into the clasified ads business — for free. Don’t be fooled, there is a business model in there. If you jump over to the NY Times you can read all the details in the piece, Facebook to Offer Free Classifieds. From the article …
Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is calling the new service Marketplace and plans to introduce it on Friday. It will allow users to create classified listings in four categories: housing; jobs; for sale, where users can list things like concert tickets and used bikes; and “other,” a catch-all that could include things like solicitations for rides home for the holidays.
This creates an interesting campus market place that could drive even more traffic through the FB. I have to say I think I know where I am going to be placing my ads to sell some of that old stuff I have. If you think about it, where else could I go to really reach this demographic? The University newspaper, maybe. A flyer to hang on a classroom wall, eh. But with this, the FB folks have pegged the three things you need to do business — location, location, loaction … oh, and a built in network of connected, trusted, co-located friends doesn’t hurt either. This is worth watching.
What I am curious about is how they will provide value to the marketplace concept using all that is right about social networking. I am wondering if there will be Amazon style recommendations based on my profile or the profile of my friends. Will I see items for sale from friends first? If so, will I be more likely to buy. On campus we hear from students that they go to trusted sources first when they need help with things like technology and coursework … will that translate into the buying experience? I am betting on that being a yes. I wonder what others think?