How to make Facebook Marketplace even better
21 Dec 2016
Facebook Marketplace is good, says Paste Magazine’s Isabel Thottam. But it could be even better. She has four suggestions. We wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these find their way into Marketplace as the product matures. (If they do, you can say you read it here first.)
Filter by neighborhood
Thottam lives in the city and doesn’t have a car, so she would really like to see a “filter by neighborhood” option in Marketplace. That would make it easier for Thottam to know where the seller is located and if she’ll be able to easily carry an item home. Neighborhood “for sale” groups (on Facebook and other sites) often require users to list their cross streets before joining, Thottam points out. Zip codes are helpful but are often too broad and can be changed manually by sellers trying to game the system.
“It really sucks when you see something you really want, only to go through a whole back and forth with someone and later find out the item is further than you thought,” Thottam writes.
A map view rather than just a home page grid of images would help, Thottam adds.
Filter by price
Facebook Marketplace doesn’t have a way to filter by price. (At least not yet … ) Thottam says this should be at the top of Facebook’s to-do list. Why should you have to scroll through the grid “and just see photo after photo of expensive pieces of furniture” when you don’t have more than $50 to spend on a table?
This kind of goes against the nature of Facebook, where everyone has to use their real identity, but what if you don’t want someone to know who you are or what area you live in? Thottam wonders if it would be possible to limit the Facebook Marketplace display to just one’s first name or to institute something like the unique email addresses that Craigslist uses. Or perhaps if this is a red line, Thottam should use another more anonymous classified app.
Thottam wants her Facebook Marketplace experience to be exclusively peer-to-peer, but she says she’s seeing users post links to a website or direct someone to go to their brick and mortar store to buy an item. That’s probably not what Facebook intends with Marketplace, but just like the scams that we reported on previously, these types of offers are inevitable.
Will Facebook set up automated systems to block links to websites? Or will it make Marketplace a buying-and-selling free-for-all?
As with everything at this still very-new product, time and user behavior will tell.