Facebook Marketplace is celebrating its second anniversary Wednesday, and announcing new technology to propel its growth and empower Facebook’s 2.23 billion monthly users to buy and sell goods.
Los Angeles-based lifestyle blogger Meredith Greenberg makes about $500 per month flipping goods she purchases on Facebook Marketplace. She takes old items and turns them from shabby to chic.
“I use Marketplace to help me find and sell items that I restore and flip – from wine coolers, to coffee tables, to chairs and more,” said Greenberg. “Meeting people through Marketplace has also led to more custom work for me. For example, I connected with a couple on Marketplace who bought a coffee table from me. They loved it so much, we stayed in touch so I could share other pieces with them!”
Facebook says “more than one in three people on Facebook in the U.S. shop on Marketplace every month for everything from new shoes to baby gear to cars and apartments.”
Furniture and electronics are top sellers on Facebook Marketplace, but it’s vehicle purchases that are emerging as one of the most popular categories worldwide, according to Facebook spokesperson Erin Landers.
Car listings from local car dealerships were introduced on the platform one year ago and have helped propel interest.
Facebook is bringing more technology to the platform.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is helping consumers buy and sell faster by improving the quality of photos and Messenger conversations. Some of the new features help with price range suggestions and auto-categorization.
Using AI, the Facebook Marketplace automatically categorizes an item based on the photo and description so that the user does not have to.
Facebook is also testing technology and camera features that will recognize products and similar listings of interest.
Reporting tools and a ratings system have helped make buying and selling safer online, such as badges that were introduced for sellers to confirm their identify.