Facebook is piloting an Olx-Quikr-kind-of-model in India called “Marketplace”, where it will connect local buyers and sellers.
Marketplace, which is already up and running in 35 countries, will first launch the testing model in Mumbai.
“In India, we are seeing more and more people who are using social media to buy and sell goods. With the marketplace, we are making the experience a lot easier and, therefore, encouraging the behaviour and adding to the economic activity locally,” said Karandeep Anand, director — product management, Facebook.
He added that the platform charges no fees to buyers or sellers and aims to make it easy for users to trade mostly secondhand goods.
Facebook’s Marketplace is based on the analytics of the number users worldwide, which is as high as 550 million, visit various groups in the social networking website to buy and sell each month. The number makes up for a quarter of its 2 billion active monthly users.
India is a home to around 241 million Facebook users, which accounts 11 per cent of the total users and the largest in the world.
According to the social networking site, Indian users are currently mainly buying and selling jewellery and accessories, household goods, electronics and apparel.
“We don’t have a particular date in India for the pan-India launch. The goal of the test is to start learning. As we learn, we will understand whether the product meets the needs, finds it engaging. As we learn, we will start rolling it more broadly,” said Anand.
This week, Amazon-owned price comparison platform Junglee has shut down its independent identity after five years of operations. It has integrated the platform into Amazon.in through Local Finds that made debut in India in August, this year. Local Finds allows customers to find and sell used and new goods.
Facebook’s Marketplace essentially competes with Olx, Quikr and Justdial.