According to Mashable, Facebook may launch local classifieds. WOW – I really do think they can make a run at Craigslist. Pete at Mashable mentioned that CollegeMedium has already used the FB API to built a classifieds site, meaning facebook might alienate some of their developer community. In my mind, taking on classifieds is definitely the right strategic move. Being so locally focused, classifieds are an obvious addition to the site. The rumored ability for users to post free to their own network means many would quickly try it out. Posting to nearby networks is said to be an additional charge. It’s all about the UI in my opinion — where will they surface the content from? Will classifieds be its own entire section of the site?

Facebook has one thing many, many sites do not have — a massive (& instant) built-in AUDIENCE. Sure, it might take a little bit of time to train people to look on Facebook to find classifieds rather than Craigslist. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Last I heard, Facebook had something upwards of 17 million users – there’s definitely potential to reach critical mass fairly quickly with classified listings.

One huge advantage that Facebook has over other sites is that they seem to have done a great job of keeping SPAM to a minimum – partly because they kept a closed system for so long that was fairly exclusive to college students.

Lastly, I’ll answer Pete Cashmore’s questions:

1. Knowing it’s free, would you list something to your network?
Yes
No

2. If you were making a free listing for something in your network, would you also want to list it in nearby networks?
Yes, I would.
No, I wouldn’t.
I said I wouldn’t list an item.

3. If you said you would want to list your item in nearby networks in addition to your network, would you be willing to pay to do this?
Yes, I would.
No, I wouldn’t
I wouldn’t be at all interested in listing in nearby networks.

4. How much would you be willing to pay for each additional network (knowing your own network will be free)?
50 cents
$1.00
$2.50
$5.00
I don’t think it’d be worth any money.


  • So how long till Zillow goes fully ‘social’ Drew and agents can market their properties to each other through their networks… 🙂

  • Joel-
    I can’t really comment on future releases, but it’s certainly something we’ve thought about (along with all the other ideas we’ve dreamed up). It’s a matter of prioritizing the features that the community wants us to build – we can’t do everything. It’s going to be an exciting year, to say the least. We have lots of cool stuff in the pipeline.

  • mike

    Verticlans (http://www.verticlans.com) allows anyone to create their own classified marketplace for any niche – for your friends, family, co-workers, etc. While tapping pre-existing online networks is obviously powerful, it is also somewhat constraining – not all of your real world networks are associated online. In fact, some make be strictly associated by geography.

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