In online stock trading, you always need to watch out for what tech stocks come up with. They never stand still, and always look to innovate and capture the market share. E-commerce is a very lucrative opportunity and social networking giant Facebook ($FB) wishes to take on eBay, Craigslist and others.

Simplicity of Marketplace

$FB has launched the Marketplace which, as you’ve guessed, is a means for users to buy or sell items or even discover new stuff within their local community. For now, it will launch for Facebook users only in four English speaking countries - US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Users must be 18 years of age or older to access Marketplace. They must open the Facebook app and tap the shop icon that comes up at the bottom. On tapping it, Marketplace opens up showing pictures of products listed for sale by people situated near your location. If you don’t find anything that interests you, you can search what you want. You can filter the search results with parameters such as price, location or category.

If you feel like buying something, all you need to do is contact the seller with a direct message that can be done from the Marketplace. You then need to make an offer and carry out any communication required, and Facebook is then out of the picture. Unlike what many of us would have expected, Marketplace does not incorporate a payment gateway or product delivery services for now.

For selling, all you need to do is click a snap of what you wish to sell, and enter the product name and the price while adding a description. Before posting, confirm the location you’re in and then select the category the product belongs to.

Why E-commerce Is Important

Mary Ku, director of product management at Facebook, revealed that 450 million people checked out the buy and sell groups in the social network each month. Building up a marketplace would result in more people heading to Facebook. As mentioned earlier, the social network has not monetized the process through a payment gateway, leaving the user to decide the method of payment. But Marketplace is clearly in its experimental stage and can therefore look to add monetization possibilities in the future.

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