Well, that didn't take long. Facebook's latest service, Marketplace, hasn't even been out for a full 24 hours yet, but as expected, it's already being used for less-than-savory activities such as selling drugs, animals and adult services.
After being in testing for the past several months, Facebook finally released Marketplace to the public early Monday, Oct. 3, replacing the Messenger shortcut in the bottom center of the company's proprietary app. Clearly designed as a competitor to other sites such as Craigslist, Marketplace looked to stand above the competition by creating a buy-and-sell hub that is built on the social network's community, rather than anonymity.
In fact, that's what Facebook mentioned in the blog post when it made its announcement: "[T]oday we're introducing Marketplace, a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community. Marketplace makes it easy to find new things you'll love, and find a new home for the things you're ready to part with. We'll continue to build new options and features to make this the best experience for people."
However, it seems that not even Facebook could avoid one of the greatest problems its rivals are riddled with: Being used for things that it clearly isn't intended for. Though certainly not on the level of putting up a sale ad for Yahoo, some users are already using the site to try and sell things such as drugs, adult services and even exotic animals.
Glad FB Marketplace is taking up prime real estate in the app with deals like this!!! pic.twitter.com/a8ugvXJHuU
— Jillian D'Onfro (@jillianiles) Oct. 3, 2016
In addition, there were other listings for fish, a farmhand and underclothed people posing suggestively.
Honestly, this is hardly surprising - it is the internet, after all. However, this development does mean bad things for Facebook, because unlike Craigislist, which doesn't really restrict these types of sales, Facebook's Commerce Policy explicitly prohibits the sale of these kinds of items and services.
And what is Facebook going to do about this?
According to a spokesperson, Facebook employees will actively look for offensive posts in Marketplace, as well as rely on users to report posts they think should be removed. In this case, a few of the prohibited sales have already been removed (such as the ones mentioned above).
So, at the very least Facebook is on the case. However, if how it handled private gun sales in the past is any indication, misuse of Marketplace is looking like it will be around for quite some time.