Faced with the reality of its buyers and sellers connecting via WhatsApp, LeBonCoin, France’s dominant classifieds site, is preparing to launch its own instant messenger.

“We expect three to five million messages a day,” LeBonCoin CEO Antoine Jouteau told French edition ITEspresso (full article here in French). “We do not offer users the means of carrying out payment – we are judged on the way we arrange an instantaneous relationship,” he added.

The new R&D department of LeBonCoin is working on testing new disruptive technologies, including chat bots. Instant messenger will serve as one of the means of enhancing the position of LeBonCoin in competition against other players, most notably Facebook Marketplace. Facebook offers used stuff for sale on a localized basis in the U.S. and a few other markets, but not yet in France.

Instant messenger plays a key role in Facebook Marketplace, and in the jobs software developed by Facebook (here is a link to our special coverage of Facebook’s classifieds efforts).

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