Facebook unveiled the Marketplace that it introduced in competition to Craigslist and eBay on Monday, and people are already using the service to openly sell things like drugs, adult services and animals, thus violating Facebook’s policies, reports Business Insider.
Sale items violating Facebook commerce policy
Listings for snakes, a farmhand, fish, baby hedgehogs and scantily clad people can be seen on Marketplace. On being asked, a company spokesperson pointed Business Insider to Facebook’s Commerce Policy and declined to comment further. Facebook’s policy expressly prohibits selling these kinds of items and services.
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To keep a check on what is sold, Facebook relies on its employees, said the spokesperson. Such employees proactively look for offensive posts in Marketplace, along with users reporting posts that they think should be removed, notes BI.
For the past few months, Facebook has been testing Marketplace with a small percentage of its users. But the feature is now replacing the Messenger shortcut at the bottom center of Facebook’s app for everyone over the age of 18 in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. When the user taps on it, he/she will be taken to an algorithmically-generated home page of items that might be of your interest.
Marketplace aims to make shopping easy
The suggestions on the home page are based on the pages users have liked and later will be based on a user’s viewing, buying, or selling activity within the Marketplace. A user will be able to message the seller and also place an offer. To sell an item, a user is required to simply upload a photo, set a name, description, and price, and confirm their location.
A user can browse categories of items and get a list of nearby listings as well. Also they will be able to search for an item and expand the radius of their query to cover a larger distance, explains The Verge. Users will also be able to change their locations to find items in other cities or regions.
Facebook wants the Marketplace to feel like a mobile-first initiative. The app does not have a desktop feature as of now, but it is in the works, as per project manager Bowen Pan.
Pan says, “We saw a lot of people were really just looking at coming to Marketplace without necessarily anything in particular they were looking for. They were just on Marketplace to casually browse through. This really mirrors an offline experience where you can go to a Sunday market or maybe the mall.”