Facebook may take on Craigslist with a new Marketplace section (update)

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Social network giant Facebook might be recycling an old idea as a way for it to generate a new source of revenue and become just a bit more useful to its users.

That idea? Classified ads and job listings, which first appeared on the site years ago as Facebook Marketplace only to get handed off to another company. According to The Daily, this new version of Marketplace would treat some classified listings as free, such as apartment listings, searching for roommates, or job postings. Other listings, like selling a couch or service, would cost users a fee of under $5. And like regular Facebook ads, all the classified listings would have the ability to target people based on your own social circle and geography.

This time around, the Facebook Marketplace will likely have better integration with a user’s regular news feed, and it could even pop up on their Timeline (profile), according to The Daily’s anonymous sources within the company. This would certainly make more people look at the classified listings, which was likely a problem when Facebook tried to do this the first time around.

The move is certainly long overdue, as a classified service with ties to both location data and a person’s social circle would definitely provide value to its users. And depending on how useful it actually is, it could open up Facebook to a brand new kind of business.

The social network could either enable transactions to run through its site, charging a nominal fee that’s lower than competitors, or it could leave the transaction side up to third-party developers. Companies like Airbnb and RentStuff could easily integrate their own services into Facebook, which could draw in additional business — much in the same way media companies generally get a “bump” after integrating with Facebook Timeline.

But at any rate, a new classifieds section on Facebook would give Craigslist some added competition as the “go to” place for classified listings.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for more details, and we will update this post with any new information.

Update 11/2/2012: A Facebook spokesperson says the company is not working on a Marketplace produce or service as described by The Daily’s sources.

Facebook photo via Annette Shaff / Shutterstock


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