Buy a car through Facebook, and the social network could earn a special place in your heart. So Facebook is creating a dedicated section of Marketplace for vehicles.
You’ll now be able to use new search filters to find a ride with a specific type, construct, model, mileage, transmitting, and more from both people and automobile dealerships like Edmunds, Cars.com, Auction1 23, CDK Global, and SocialDealer. You can check pricing against the industry standard Kelly’s Blue Book. And you can use Messenger bots to communicate with traders in real-time instead of filling out a contact form and waiting to hear back.
Search volume in Facebook’s peer-to-peer classifies directory that launched a year ago has grown 3X globally since the start of 2017, with 18 million listings being added in the US alone in May. There’s also been 77% growth in unique conversations between buyers and sellers over the first half of this year.
“Autos are one of the most popular categories of Marketplace” says Facebook product manager Bowen Pan. “Millions of people in the US alone are looking at used automobiles, motorbikes, and other vehicle listings every day” he tells me. So just as Marketplace grew out of the rampant emergent behavior of people generating buy-and-sell Facebook Groups, the Marketplace team followed usage tendencies to build the new vehicle features.
Facebook doesn’t take a cut of any Marketplace transactions. But a few months back it started testing ads within Marketplace to promote certain products. You can imagine that dealerships would happily pay for ads if they could land them a vehicle buyer.
Marketplace’s spotlight on vehicles is just part of Facebook’s ambitious plans for the commerce platform. It’s also working on helping people land jobs, buy tickets through Ticketmaster and Eventbrite, discover daily bargains through eBay, browse retail products from the Shop segments of Pages, and next, Facebook plans to tackle real estate so you can find a home or apartment.
While Craigslist and various vertical specific sites have been around forever, Facebook is butting in by blending the fact that people don’t need to set up a new account, already visit the app daily, and have visibility into people’s profiles and social graphs can boost trust.
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