Monday, May 14, 2007

Facebook Marketplace

I've been dwelling on Facebook for the past few posts, so why stop now!

Today Facebook announced and launched the Facebook Marketplace. This service is similar to Craigslist and not like eBay. The service allows for users to post items for sale and also want adds for almost anything (that is legal). I've already posted one of my old text books for sale.

The service integrates into Facebook very nicely by just providing another option in the navigation menu. The main strength of this service is that it utilizes the existing Facebook network. When an item is posted it can be limited and targeted to specific networks.

From what I have seen so far, the biggest benefit to this service is also its weak point: the users immaturity. Now this assertion obviously needs some support. From my experience with Facebook it is obvious that many people use it for social networking (duh). Looking at the demographic this often involves alcohol and partying and there are plenty of pictures of people totally smashed. I do not want to simply say that the entire demographic drinks too much and parties crazy, nor do I want to say that everyone is immature. I simply want to assert that some people think that inappropriately use of this new marketplace will be funny.

I've already seen adds that just degrade the quality of the service. These include ones where people are "selling" their girlfriend other ones where they are selling things they obviously don't own. I'm excited that this service has been launched and I will try to use it, but my hope is they add more powerful features that let the community moderate the posts.

The brightest future for this Marketplace will be in college book sales. Hopefully this will help college students organize and trade and sell textbooks among each other and take some of the expenses off of the students.

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