Craigslist has finally released a mobile app. 

It’s a remarkably belated move for the classifieds site, which released the app without any media fanfare. The only mention on the site is an invitation to users to take part in a beta test. 

A number of third-party apps have enabled mobile use of Craigslist, but this is the first app by the company itself. The 1.0 version for iPhone launched on the Apple store this week, while the Android version is still in testing

The company has yet to explain why it launched the app. If it’s for business reasons, why did it take so long?

It could be that Craigslist simply wanted to give users a mobile interface they could trust. 

Then again, perhaps it’s taken this long for Craigslist’s competitors to pose a real threat. Letgo launched its mobile alternative to Craigslist in Jan. 2015 and several others have piled on since, including Offerup, Mercari and Facebook Marketplace.

Craigslist is still the No. 1 general classified site in the U.S. by a wide margin. In 2018, the AIM Group estimated Craigslist’s revenue at $1.034 billion U.S., a 45% jump from our 2016 estimate. 

However, site visits have dropped steadily since 2015. In March 2018, Craigslist had about 650 million total monthly visits, according to SimilarWeb. Since then, that number has halved. In October, the latest available figure, the site had only 364 million visits.

Facebook Marketplace is clearly making a dent — CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims it is now used by one in three people in the U.S.

Offerup and Letgo are also making strides. Just this month, Prosus, the majority owner of Letgo, presented numbers showing that both Letgo and Offerup are closing in on Craigslist in terms of active users, even beating it in terms of net new listings.

From Prosus Capital Markets Day presentation, Dec. 3, 2019

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