Facebook recently launched Marketplace, a new service on the social network that aims to make it easier for users to engage in peer-to-peer trade within their local community.

Marketplace, which will first launch in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, will look to challenge other online commerce channels such as Craigslist and eBay. How is Facebook's new service different from its competitors?

According to ZK Research analyst Zeus Kerravala, Marketplace brings with it an element of trust that is notably absent in what would be its biggest rival among community-based online marketplaces, Craigslist. There has been a prevalent problem of scammers in Craigslist, as the platform provides anonymity to both buyers and sellers. In Marketplace, with the transactions attached to people and their profiles on the social network, it is much easier to figure out if the person on the other end is real.

Marketplace will be prominently displayed on Facebook as it will be replacing Messenger on the main navigation row at the bottom of the app. This integration of Marketplace into Facebook will make it much easier for users on the social network to get involved with the platform, generating a significant number of users right away. According to Facebook, 450 million people access "buy and sell" groups on the platform monthly, a number that the social network is looking to tap into with Marketplace.

Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead added that Marketplace brings it with spontaneity. Users go on Craigslist and eBay to shop for products, but on Marketplace, impulse buys will be a thing. This is because browsing through the social network could allow users to see if certain items for sale would catch their eye, and so they might spend more time on the social network.

However, Marketplace also comes with certain concerns. According to Moorhead, linking transactions to the personal profiles of users could lead to privacy problems, given the many unsafe transactions that have occurred on Craigslist. Moorhead thinks that Facebook may need to clarify how much of a user's personal information will be divulged on Marketplace.

Marketplace also currently does not offer a rating system that will discourage buyers and sellers from practicing bad business behavior, along with no native checkout options for transactions like what other platforms such as eBay offer. In addition, Facebook said that it will not take action in case a user is scammed from a transaction on Marketplace.

Will Marketplace grow into a service that will challenge the likes of Craigslist and eBay? That remains to be seen, but the potential of Facebook's new service to do so is right there.

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