I’ve finally come to accept that I may not be a true early adopter. Obviously that is a relative term, and I like to think that I am pretty fast to pick up new stuff faster than most Americans, but when it comes to comparing myself with my peers in this industry, I am a laggard. I have even looked myself in the mirror and said “You are not an early adopter, and that’s OK.”
Now with that out of the way, I decided to play around with Facebook Marketplace. I figured if it’s still around it must be kinda popular. That being said, popularity wasn’t really what I wanted to look into – everything Facebook does is popular by most definitions. I was more interested in how it worked. Was this going to really be the amazing marriage of Social and Commerce that many of us were expecting?
Well…not really. In fact, Facebook Marketplace is strikingly similar to any other online classifieds site. People list items for sale. Other people can search for them and buy them. As for integration into the core Facebook experience? Nothing more than is available on most other e-commerce sites. In fact, even less than some sites. For example, if you want to share a listing with your friends, you are only given 4 options: Email, Twitter, Google + (!?!), and Like (the FB kind). To my astonishment, there isn’t a way to post a listing on your wall! There goes any hopes of having new features like “Get your friends to help you get this” or “Poll your friends on what to get”. There is a “Ask your friends” option, but it again falls short of integrating into the Facebook experience in a truly unique way.
So, I was late to the party, and I was still disappointed. The whole idea of Social Commerce, at least in my humble opinion, was to leverage your social network to help in the buying process. Groupon has gotten a lot closer, but they are still focused on getting you to buy something you don’t really want. So I’ll sit here and wait for someone else to come along and finally get it right…