Editor’s note: This is part of VentureBeat’s series “Startup Spotlight.” Every week, we’ll sift through the scores of companies applying to be promoted and profile the best one. Companies can sign up here at the Entrepreneur Corner, which is currently sponsored by Microsoft. (Of course, we’re still interested in covering startup news and innovation in our day-to-day coverage.) Today, we continue the series with Tweba, below.
With so many startups capitalizing on the Twitter platform these days, it’s not surprising some are crossing into the domain of established sites. One prime example is young marketplace company Tweba (formerly Tweebay), which aims to bring the power of Craigslist and eBay to the swap meet-like community of Twitter, where it allows users to hawk and buy goods as they stream in real time.
The system is relatively simple. Users can choose to login to their Tweba account using their existing Twitter login or their Facebook Connect login. Or they can create a unique username and password. Once signed in, they list goods they want to sell directly on Tweba, as if they were tweeting normally. Every listing (up to 240 characters for initial posts, and more afterward) includes a link to a picture or more information. Even easier than that, members on Twitter can also add a listing to the Tweba page by including #ihave or #iwanttosell in a regular tweet on their own pages. Hashtags are also used to sort the Tweba tweet stream into goods sold and goods wanted as well as into categories ranging from #Antiques and #Cars and Accessories to #Stamps and #Personals (again cutting into Craigslist’s turf).
Here’s an example:
Users who buy goods on Tweba can pay via Google Checkout, Paypal or through an Out of Tweebay Transaction. Just like eBay or Craigslist, the seller then ships the item or items. And just like on eBay, sellers and buyers can provide feedback on one another to ensure good sales in the future. There is even an auction model that can be tapped into — with users listing items for a set number of days and fielding bids until the listing (which is assigned a particular ID number) expires.
Tweba’s traffic has climbed steadily since March — the site recorded nearly 10,000 unique visitors in May 2009. This might now sound like a lot, but for a new concept that is just six months old, the growth seems promising. It hasn’t disclosed any funding history to date.