Facebook's Marketplace Has an Edge on Craigslist, but No Room for Marketers (Yet)

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Facebook's reliance on people's real names and actual identities has made its advertising platform attractive to marketers, and now it's an advantage for a new consumer-to-consumer retail market, too.

Facebook on Monday introduced Marketplace, giving its billion-plus daily users the ability to search their areas for used goods being sold by neighbors.

Billed by some as a "Craigslist killer," it is seen as potentially eliminating the creep factor of anonymous online selling.

The marketplace works by allowing people on Facebook's mobile app to search locations and product categories for items up for sale.

Facebook said in its announcement that 450 million people already buy and sell through the social network, a common activity borne out of its Groups section. Groups is where people of like minds and interests get together on Facebook.

Facebook has identified Groups as one of the core activities on the service, and is making it central to its long-term strategy.

But the marketplace is not for brands, nor are there ad products associated with it. Facebook did say that it will introduce new features as Marketplace matures.

Even though brands and businesses don't have a stall in Facebook's new digital flea market, however, advertisers are likely to seek ways to get involved sooner or later.

"It's more consumer-to-consumer like eBay and Craigslist," said Chris Tuff, director of business development at 22squared. "But it could lead to opportunities for brands in the future."