- The Washington Times - Monday, October 3, 2016

With its Monday launch of the new Marketplace feature, Facebook is aiming to make it a little easier to buy or sell stuff without the sketch factor of Craigslist and similar sites.

So far, the app is only being released in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. 

The new app within Facebook allows users to browse a “relevancy-sorted feed” of items to buy from people who live nearby, and to quickly list their own items for sale, TechCrunch.com reported Monday.

While the new add-on to Facebook is free and, at least for now, lacks advertising, established retailers may get a crack at paid listings should Marketplace prove popular.

“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 monetize the surface,” Facebook product manager Bowen Pan told TechCrunch.

Facebook’s Marketplace could prove a strong competitor to letgo, a smartphone-based app launched in 2015 which has much the same functionality. Like letgo, Facebook Marketplace tells prospective users it “does not facilitate the payment or delivery of items” listed on the platform. Unlike letgo, however, Facebook Marketplace users negotiating a purchase via the Messenger app have the added convenience of the Payments feature within the popular messaging app.

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