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Facebook Update Looks a Lot Like Craigslist

Suddenly it's easier to sell your stuff on the social network.

Alexey Stiop/ Shutterstock

People are using Facebook to buy and sell products, and now the social network is doing a little bit more than simply providing the message board.

Facebook rolled out an update Tuesday that allows members of specific “For Sale” Groups to customize posts with more info like an item’s sale price, its location and whether or not it’s still available. Sellers can also manage the items they’ve listed from one screen and update the posting once an item is sold or out of stock, a la Craigslist.

These Groups, which Facebook is selecting based on their title and description, previously worked like any other group: Their creators simply started them with the purpose of selling goods and services over the social network. It’s also true that sellers could already list this kind of product info in the body text of any post they shared to a “For Sale” Group, but now Facebook is providing a little more structure to the process.

It’s a small product update, but it demonstrates Facebook’s continued interest in exploring commerce-related projects. For now, buyers and sellers still figure out payments on their own, which means Facebook has no part in the exchange. In the future, you could imagine the company providing a service for the actual purchase of goods right through the platform.

Facebook has been testing a “buy” button within News Feed since last summer, and rumors have been floating around for some time that the company intends to bring some kind of payment element to its messaging product, Messenger.


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