As Facebook continue to look for extra revenue making options, they are paying particular attention to their Marketplace feature. The feature - which is primarily used for consumer to consumer trading at the moment - is set to be rolled out across 17 countries in Europe.
Today - 17th August 2017, the Facebook's Marketplace is available in Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK, but the plans are to make it available to consumers in Austria, Norway, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden and Portugal.
The Marketplace allows customers to buy items, having seen the profiles of sellers - as explained by Facebook – No matter if you are a new parent looking for clothes for a newborn baby or a collector who is looking for a rarity, buying and selling on Marketplace will feel good because it is easy to see the public profiles of sellers and buyers, including mutual friends, the age of their account.”
At this time, Facebook Marketplace is similar to putting an ad in your local paper - with customers being able to specify how far they are willing to travel - although it is only possible to buy in your own country. They have revealed that as of May 2017, over 18 million new items have been posted on Marketplace - although the majority of deals were closed in person.
Whilst this seems to be concentrated on customer to customer selling, there are hints that Facebook are looking to enter the e-Commerce market.
Facebook's Marketplace is now listing items from the eBay Deals feature. In a nudge towards the e-Commerce market, customers can now buy items from eBay deals through their Facebook Marketplace app. Although it appears on Facebook, the transaction goes through eBay.
This indicates a move for Facebook Marketplace to begin to operate with businesses in addition to single customers.
For the time being, this seems to be a test across a small geographical area, and amongst the genres of Home and Garden, Fashion and Electronics, but this will almost certainly be expanded if deemed to be a success.
It seems that Facebook are a little uncertain of the best ways to monetise their Marketplace feature - as well as which way it is headed in the future, but these two changes are set to help them to decide this. It does seem clear, however that they see an increasingly important role for Facebook Marketplace in their future.