Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rumor Has It: Facebook to Offer Classifieds?

There is a rumor floating around that Facebook will offer its own brand of classifieds.  You may say that Facebook already has Marketplace...well Marketplace was sold to Oodles and it hasn't lived up to the expectation of mass integration.  Marketplace is similar to throwing an ad against the wall and letting it live there to see if it sticks.  However, the almost one billion Facebook users didn't believe the hype, so Facebook may be looking to make their own Craigslist-style classified ads.

Craigslist might not like it, according to CNET, "Craigslist presumably won't be too happy if Facebook does head in its direction, though it's unclear how much it can do about it. The company has been fiercely protective of its own listings, and in July Craigslist sued PadMapper and the data harvester it uses, 3taps, for "unlawfully and unabashedly mass-harvesting and redistributing postings."   By contrast, Facebook is purportedly building an entirely new classified network.

This should be interesting, because the Facebook classifieds will be in the timeline/news feed of users.  Again it will be targeted, to geo-location, behavioral targeting, et al, to make the ads as relevant and transparent as possible.  So, if you're in St. Louis, Missouri, and there is an apartment for rent, you may see this classified ad in your timeline.  Those seeking to post classifieds will pay a fee if they are selling something, while those who are posting apartments for rent, for example will not.

But, right now Facebook won't confirm nor deny if they are developing such a product.  As usual, stay tuned to your Facebook page for further changes.  We all know Facebook changes so much that it's hard to keep up.  Facebook classifieds will probably be coming sooner than you can finish reading this post.

What are your thoughts?  Will you be happy to see a Craigslist-style classified ad product on Facebook?  Post your responses below.