Facebook Is Officially Testing a Craigslist-Like Buying and Selling Feature

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Former West Coast Editor
3 min read

Thanks to an outpouring of user screenshots, the secret is out. At long last, Facebook is officially taking on Craigslist and eBay with its own buying and selling feature called “Local Market.”

The social-media giant confirmed today that it is indeed running trials of the functionality. "We are in the very early stages of testing new ways for more people to easily discover, buy, and sell items with other people on Facebook,” a spokesperson for the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company told Entrepreneur moments ago.

The statement confirms what several Facebook users in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, as well as in Auckland, New Zealand, reported fleetingly glimpsing in their Facebook iPhone apps over the last couple of days, some as early as Oct. 5. Sorry, Stateside shoppers, it is not yet known when the inaugural feature will expand beyond those specific locales.

Related: The Psychology Behind Why We Like, Share and Comment on Facebook (Infographic)

For some, the new functionality appeared as a blue button (that looks like an awning-covered store window) in the middle of the bottom of the main Facebook iOS app screen. Meanwhile, others spied broader views of the feature in the app, which appears to offer a smorgasbord of basic, searchable shopping categories. Among them are everything from antiques to clothing, electronics to gardening and beyond.

As for what we know so far of how Local Market works, Facebook does not directly facilitate transactions. They occur between individual users. To initiate and complete a sale, prospective buyers comment on a post or message a seller. The particulars of how payment transactions take place are not yet clear.

Earlier this month, Facebook hinted that this long-awaited pivot was coming, noting that its users are warming up to more product-related content across several channels within its robust platform -- in groups, company Pages, news feeds, search results and sponsored content offerings. Also, last February, with an eye on boosting product discovery, the social mammoth announced new marketing tools for sellers, along with enhanced search and browsing capabilities for buyers.

Related: Facebook Is Trying to Get Mobile Users to Shop Directly Through Its App

There’s no word yet of the new initiative on Facebook’s newsroom website, nor has founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a peep about it on his wall.

For a look at user reactions to the fresh shopping feature -- and at early images of the functionality itself -- check out the tweet roundup below:

Related: How to Build a Killer Facebook Page for Your Retail Company

Related: Zuckerberg's Prison Visit Shows That Great Opportunities Appear in the Most Unlikely Places

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur