Facebook Marketplace has come to India as a pilot rollout limited to Mumbai from November 16 onwards. People in Mumbai will soon start seeing a Marketplace tab where they will be able to see buy/sell listings within a predefined radius. India is the 36th country to get the feature, which comes a year after it was first launched in US.
“Over 550 million people use buy and sell groups each month on Facebook,” Karandeep Anand, Director Product Management at Facebook told indianexpress.com, adding that the Facebook Marketplace is a natural evolution of that same behaviour.
Marketplace is expected to make it easier for people to discover, buy, and sell products within their community or locality.
However, in India, Facebook will be in a learning mode as far as the initial rollout of Marketplace is concerned and will be studying user behaviour and analysing if it will be different from the rest of the world. “We are here to learn, but also offer an experience that is easy and trustworthy,” he said adding that like other products the expansion of the offering in India will depend on the initial experience and learning with Facebook not sticking to any particular timeline.
This May, over 18 million new items were posted for sale in US Marketplace. In India, Facebook recorded 217 million monthly active people in Q2, 2017.
Trust will be a big factor of the product as users will be able to see who is posting the products and whether they have common connections or groups, but the privacy settings will prevent both sides from knowing personal details of either. “The Mumbai Marketplace pilot is aimed at people-to-people selling and will not be meant for businesses. Our idea is only to help discovery of the products,” Anand added. So while there will be listings, the actually transactions will have to happen offline between the buyer and the seller, with Facebook not playing any role.
This is how Facebook Marketplace works
To buy, tap on the shop icon of the Facebook app and start exploring. If you find something interesting, tap on the image to see details of the seller and a product description along with the locality. If you have decided to buy, there is the option to send the seller a direct message and make an offer.
To sell, take a photo of your item or upload from camera roll. Then give it a product name, description and price. Post once you have confirmed your location and product category.
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