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Facebook Launches Peer-to-Peer Selling Tab

Facebook has launched a dedicated peer-to-peer shopping tab. Facebook Marketplace allows users to easily browse a feed of relevant items from people who live nearby at the same time as listing their own items. 

Facebook attracts 450 million users per month on “buy and sell” groups created on the social network. Now, the platform has launched a tab in its app specifically dedicated to peer-to-peer shopping. 

Marketplace is integrated with Facebook Messenger, enabling users to barter and arrange meet-ups, and because of the profile-dominated service, it’s much easier to know who is on the other side of the transaction. 

Marketplace has launched in the UK, America, Australia and New Zealand on mobile, and could launch globally and on the internet depending on popularity. There is no checkout option for transactions except for ad-hoc payment through Messenger, which promotes in-person sales rather than potentially fraudulent exchanges. 

Marketplace product manager Bowen Pan said: “After we’re confident we’ve built out a great product experience for people, we’ll look into introducing businesses if it makes sense, and after that we’ll look at how we could potentially monetise the surface.”

The Marketplace shortcut has replaced the Messenger button on the navigation tab bar, putting it in a prime location. While users can search for specific items, Marketplace also displays products tailored to their interests and location.

Pan said: “We found that the vast majority of people just like to browse. They don’t have a specific item in mind. They are just scrolling through the feed and seeing if there’s anything that might interest them. 

“It mimics some of the offline shopping behaviour of going to a Sunday market or to the mall. You might not know the items you want, but you’re open to seeing them.” 

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