Facebook Marketplace is adding “shopping and deals from e-commerce merchants” and “exclusive deals from retailers.” Over 33% of Facebook members use its classifieds-style platform every month according to the company, and it wants to help make it easier for users to buy and sell – and not only from each other.
In a blog post this week celebrating its 2-year anniversary, Facebook Marketplace Vice President Deborah Liu revealed the addition of merchant deals (but provided no details). She also noted that buyers and sellers can now rate each other – see this help page for more information on rating a trading partner. Note that ratings are only available in the Facebook for iPhone or Android app, not Facebook.com.
Liu also revealed that Facebook is introducing new features that use artificial intelligence (AI). It already uses AI to personalize the platform for buyers and to automatically improve the quality of photos and translate listings and Messenger conversations.
Last week, Facebook introduced new features that use AI for price range suggestions and auto-categorization. For example, “if you wanted to sell your home office chair, Marketplace could use AI to help you sell it even faster by suggesting you price it between $50-75 based on what similar chairs recently sold for. It will also automatically categorize the chair as “furniture” based on the photo and description, so that you don’t have to.”
Like eBay, Facebook is testing image search – “Say you liked your friend’s headphones and wanted your own; you could snap a photo of the headphones and Marketplace’s AI technology could recommend similar listings for sale nearby.”
While it’s easy to compare Facebook to a site like Craigslist and other ecommerce sites, Marketplace has feature unique to its platform: yard sale junkies can join local Facebook selling groups, and when they do, Marketplace for-sale posts (in effect, classifieds listings) show up on their feed as they’re catching up with posts from friends and family.
The post clearly indicates Facebook is committed to Marketplace. “Today, more than one in three people on Facebook in the US use Marketplace every month for everything from new shoes to baby gear to cars and apartments,” Liu wrote. “We’ll continue working to deliver new product features to discover, buy, and sell the things you love. So whether that’s shopping locally secondhand, finding new items from popular brands, or getting exclusive deals from retailers in time for the holidays, expect to see more from us.”
We’ve asked for more information about the merchant deals and whether online sellers would be able to participate, and we’ll bring you more information as we learn more.