Today, Facebook and Oodle will announce the launch of the new classified product which will replace the old Marketplace application. In contrast to the previous iteration of the application, all classified listings can be posted for free. The service also includes an increased level of integration into Facebook’s social graph. What’s great about Facebook classifieds over traditional online classifieds is that there is a social aspect which increases security.
For example, when you respond to a classified listing, you can get in touch directly with the seller without blindly meeting them at the time of delivery. There are currently four actions that you can take within the application: sell something, sell for a cause, give it away, or ask for something. Most of this is self-explanatory but one interesting aspect of the application is the ability to give away items for a cause.
Rather than selling your item, it is possible to donate all of the proceeds from the sale to a specific cause. Current causes include the American Red Cross, The World Wildlife Fund, Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and a few others. Each cause also has its own individual page. I mentioned to Oodle CEO, Craig Donato, that this service would integrate well with the Causes application. He agreed but said there are no current plans for doing so.
One thing that I was wondering about this application was whether or not Facebook would give the application any sort of priority placement. Craig Donato didn’t know of any special treatment that the application would receive but he did state that the application is owned by Facebook, not Oodle, which suggests the potential for future promotions.
Craig also told me about a future feature which lets you post classified listings directly as Facebook advertisements. This is one of the few ways that Facebook hopes to monetize the application in the future. From the sounds of it, Facebook has had a relatively hands off approach when it came to this application. Future partnership activities with Oodle depends heavily on the performance of this specific application.
It’s a great upgrade to the existing Marketplace but we’ll have to wait and see what the results are like. With no substantial revenue model in sight for this application, it sounds like Facebook isn’t betting heavily on the success of this app. They too are taking a wait and see approach. I’ve included some screenshots below from the application and have reached out to the company for screenshots that are easier to read.
I’ll also be sure to include a link to the application once I’ve received it from the company.