Facebook has unveiled a new marketplace in Nigeria, a buying and selling point where people can search, buy and sell items in their local communities.
According to a statement released Wednesday by the social media platform, Nigeria has become the latest African nation to join the market where South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya are already trading.
To access the platform, users can simply tap on the Marketplace icon or visit www.facebook.com/marketplace to browse and search for items, sort based on distance or category.
Head of Public Policy for Anglophone West Africa, Adaora Ikenze said the move further underscores Facebook’s commitment to boost local trading and help create local communities of buyers and sellers.
“The launch of Marketplace in Nigeria further highlights our ongoing efforts in helping to boost buying and selling in Nigeria and connecting communities.
“This comes at a crucial time as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact people and businesses, and with many people buying and selling on Facebook, this will provide people with a convenient destination where they can discover new products, shop for things they want or find buyers for the things they are ready to part with.”
Shedding more light on how the Facebook marketplace works, it stated that when a seller lists an item on it, they create a public listing that could be seen by anyone on the social media platform.
This includes people on Marketplace, News Feed, Facebook search, Facebook Groups or search engines.
“Sellers can simply take a photo of an item, enter a product name, description and price, confirm their location, select a category, and post,” she stated.
Providing tips for buying and selling on the platform, she explained: “Items, products or services sold on Facebook must comply with our community standards, as well as the commerce policies.
“Sellers and merchants are responsible for complying with all applicable laws and regulations. For high-value items (example: watches, luxury bags), consider requesting a certificate of authenticity or proof of purchase.
“If you’re not satisfied with an item’s condition or have doubts about its authenticity, you can decline to complete the purchase. If the seller offers to ship the item rather than exchanging it in person, keep in mind that you may not have the opportunity to verify the item before completing your purchase.
“If you are meeting, ensure this is in a public place. Don’t invite buyers or sellers into your home. Before going to the agreed location, tell a family member or a friend the exact location where you will meet, bring your cell phone, and consider asking another adult to come with you.
“If the value of the item you intend to buy or sell requires a significant amount of cash, you might consider using a person-to-person payment method.”
Facebook’s push into online market business play has been gaining ground in developing countries. With the Marketplace, the social media giant is giving people more enticement to get on board its platform, thereby expanding its ad-revenue strength.
Before now, OLX and Jiji were popularly known for this marketplace business model, where people can showcase items, sell and buy from each other. In April 2019, Jiji acquired OLX in Nigeria and other African countries to consolidate its market strength.
Facebook’s launch of Marketplace means the Nigerian space of online community retail market will once again, get competitive. But with its massive number of users, the social media giant has an edge.